What the heck? Who would be afraid of success? Of course I’m not afraid of success!

Well then, have you ever done any of the following?

  • Backed out of an important speaking engagement at the last minute
  • Missed an article deadline
  • Left a high-profile potential client hanging because you couldn’t figure out the right way to respond
  • Didn’t even apply for/ask about an incredible opportunity because you probably wouldn’t get it anyway

If you said “yes” to any of the items above, then you just might be afraid of success. But, you ask again, why would anyone be afraid of success? Here are the reasons I’ve heard and seen most often:

“I couldn’t handle a job that big.”

So what? Hire some help.

“So-and-so deserves it more.”

Really? Who deserves success more than you?

“My business is too new. I haven’t been doing this long enough.”

Well, if you’re on to a great idea, then be prepared for folks to want it.

“I couldn’t possibly hold my own with {Name Your Favorite Expert/Role Model} on the same stage.”

Oh honey, I bet you can.

Notice that all of these reasons have to do with your own perception of the situation, not with external factors impacting your ability to deliver. Most of the time you simply don’t realize you are sabotaging your own success before you even give it a chance. How do you get over yourself?

Starting seeing yourself as a leader.

Yep, it’s as simple as that. Starting seeing yourself as a leader, and you’ll start acting like one. Which includes no longer being afraid of success. If you need a kickstart, here are a couple of ideas:

1. Get Rid of the Guilt: I Don’t Deserve to Be a Leader

Why not? Leaders aren’t an alien species sent down to show us the way. They are everyday people like you and me. Think about a leader in your life — not someone famous, just someone you know that you’d follow anywhere. Do you think they thought they were a great leader? Do you think they knew that you’d be using them as an example of great leadership? Of course not.

2. What’s So Special About You?

You don’t have to be special to be a leader. You just have to have a passion to change something — that you still haven’t made time to take that class you wanted to take; that your child’s school won’t have an art program next year; that women still don’t receive equal pay for equal work. The issue may be large or small — it’s the size of your passion that makes you a leader.

3. You Don’t Have to Influence the “Big” Stuff

If your passion is to change a small piece of your own world…go for it! Exercise your leadership muscle, and soon you’ll have influenced a whole range of small stuff, which will add up to something big.

Go for it! Pick one of these, or try several at the same time. Leave a response below let me know what you’re going to try first.

Originally published at www.barbarabellissimo.com.

Originally published at medium.com