The Fear of Success | #SmartBrownGirl

The fear of success is a peculiar feeling to try and articulate, though it is something that many of us deal with multiple times in our life journeys. Its been an ongoing thing for me, and a constant conversation of half sentences and mumbled words trying to place exactly what this insecurity is, what is this waning feeling…

The latest manifestation has come about as #SmartBrownGirl continues to grow. I started my YouTube channel, in all sincerity, for free weave and here 3 years later, I’m doing something that I never set out to do nor ever thought could be a thing. Not to say that I’m even at the point where I feel very accomplished, but I am at point where I know I can accomplish something that I always thought was out of my reach. In this moment it is very tangible and accessible and it’s frightening as f*ck.

It’s a part of the process that is often skimmed over in interviews of prolific people, who have taken risk to reach their success, redefined some part of society and now are giving one liners that are tinted with a rose colored preview, as they tell us to stay curious, stay hunger, stay committed, and keep believing. But no one really speaks to how hard the process of believing is. And maybe they don’t speak on it because to concisely articulate it is so difficult. It’s complex. That moment where you take a leap of faith and actually land, in all it’s positivity is quite frightening especially for those of us who are used to not having, because the landing is really just the beginning. Once you land there’s a process of working that continues until you take flight and it’s that ride down the tarmac where the fear creeps in.

It’s right at the moment when you realize that you can take off, that the fear comes crashing in. Do I deserve this? Will the bottom fall out from underneath me? Am I allowed to be happy? Content? Care free? For me it was the moment where I took on working for myself full time and then moving to a city where I knew no one and surviving. I woke up one day with anxiety compressing down on my chest, worried because I actually felt okay, and that was a foreign concept to me. Sometimes we find comfort in misery, more times then most of us went to admit. Yes, it’s weird to acknowledge that I found comfort in the familiarity of being broke, a constant station of my life. Part of the Black American identity is tied to the struggle and thus why I think this is a special conversation for #SmartBrownGirls, as many of us pursue our dreams and make them tangible. But as our hard work gives way to success, how many of us are still looking around wondering where the struggle is going to pop back up on us and expecting it to pop back up?

The fear of success, when it will take more work for you to fail then it will to succeed and you’re allowing insecurities to build a fortress of procrastination around you. Where I allowed my fascination with people who don’t like me, but keep up with me to proceed me and giving negative energy room to populate in my life. To the point where I allowed people into my life who were doing nothing but emotionally beating me down. That was the moment that I realized I was allowing the negativity to dictate my being and using it as an excuse to not continue through the process, take on the short term sacrifices and compromises, because I could so quickly tell you how it was not going to happen for me. I allowed my self to be diverted from the process, because this negativity was some backwards sense of comfort in the familiar.

I am fortunate enough to have a community of #SmartBrownGirls around me, who are super vocal and won’t allow me to wallow in self-destruction because an insecurity is more comforting at the moment, then pursuing my purpose. There’s so many ways that Black women are beat down and told what they can’t be. We’ve internalized that deeply in so many ways. Humility is beat into us and then we use it as a cover for our insecurities. A comment left on the video perfectly sums up why so many of us allow the fear of success to take a hold of us, right at the precipice of our success.

Oma Comment on Fear of Success #SmartBrownGirl

Sunday’s Supermoon lands us at the perfect time to discuss this #SmartBrownGirl topic, where setting life intentions are buoyed by supreme lunar energy. My delay in writing following up posts to my videos, might actually be a bit of a blessing this time. So take the time, open your journal, and write your life intentions, take a hold of what you deserve and don’t allow others or yourself to keep you down, #SmartBrownGirl.

Tags : emotional maturity

The author Jouelzy

Jouelzy is a #SmartBrownGirl, Author, Vlogger & Writer, addressing lifestyle issues that impact women of color from beauty, culture to technology. With 162k+ subscribers she’s reshaping the image of women of color, who honor their right to revel in their diversity.

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  • inubiyamarsha

    Great post Jouelzy… as always continue to aspire and inspire. Blessings Sistar:)))))))

  • This is a great post. Very inspirational!

  • msbell22

    This post is very inspiring. I’m at a point in my life where I don’t know what I want to do career wise because I don’t believe I would be successful due to my recent past. In the last two years I have been fired from two government jobs. The first time I was fired it was very traumatic, but looking back on it I feel color had something to do with it and age as everyone who was let go was black our offer the age of 50. My second experience I simply didn’t have enough experience. But the pay was the best I’ve ever received, so I’m taking it really hard because the jobs I’m interviewing for is like I’m starting over. I’m 33 and got my bachelor’s degree 3 years ago and I’m not sure if it was worth it. So I’m considering going back to school although I know I don’t want to, but I want to be marketable enough to work for someone else. I wish I was an entrepreneur and believed in myself enough to work for myself because I know I need freedom and I love to travel and have the opportunity to go to Africa which I want to do now since I’m unemployed and know that it would be harder or impossible if I’m working at job I don’t really like. But I don’t have the go getter personality that I see other successful people have which I believe is what you need to be making a six figure salary or an entrepreneur regardless if they have a degree and a lot of the six figure people I know do not. I guess I feel stuck and I’m very unhappy.

    • Erica Smikes

      I understand actually how you feel. I am currently 33. I graduated four years ago and I think everyday was it worth it. My passion is assisting immigrants and refugees and I have found a career path that will able me to do this and not be low income but getting in the door is proving difficult. In addition, I want my own non-profit addressing issues that immigrants face coming to the US. I would like for it to branch out and provide education, work skills and food. For families in other countries but I have no idea how to make this happen. So for now..i feel stuck. Not knowing which way to go.

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