The fear of success can be a struggle as real as the fear of failure.
Take me, for instance. In writing, with the intent to publish, I am effectively throwing out my ideas and thoughts to not only those that know me but those who have no idea who I am.
So, what if my writing funds great success. What if my writings reach more than a few hundred people who know me and love me and are willing to humour my musings.
What if it reaches thousands and friends refer it to friends? And what if those people come to my church and meet me and listen to me. This is where the fear of success comes in:
What if people don’t like the real me? What if they think I was actually disingenuous in my writings after they see the real me? Would they want their money back? Would they write reports of how I’m not actually the person I purported to be?
My fear is that people will think I’m a poser, an imposter, and won’t like the “real” me. What if they think I’m not worth all the hullaballoo?
But do you know what God’s response is to me? Love yourself. How about you take the perspective that you are made worthy by me of the success? How can you hope to love others through your writing if you can’t live yourself.
And so I write. To not is to no one’s benefit. But to write means I believe that old saying that “God don’t make no junk.”
above (or beyond) reproach
Such that no criticism can be made; perfect: his integrity is beyond reproach
In the circles I travel in, this phrase “Above Reproach” is often referred to when discussing propriety in pastoral care. It references the fine line between getting yourself into a situation where others may question, or perhaps even accuse you of unethical or immoral behaviour.
But I am finding I want to concern myself less with what I should be avoiding in favour of what I should be pursuing. If I am always concerned about being above reproach in my relationships and my thought-life, then I am focusing on what could potentially go wrong or what appearance I might have, and it might paralyze me from taking action.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for being appropriate and above board – but rather than worrying if I’m escaping the fires of hell licking my heels, I’d rather be reaching forward to the pursuit of being the best person I can be with the talents and skills God has given me.
How much more fulfilling is it to fill my thoughts with the what if’s of success than the what if’s of failure. One perspective has me continually looking over my shoulder for my accusers, whilst the other has me pressing forward looking for fellow pursuers of excellence.
What if we changed Above Reproach from being a negative to a positive. What if being above reproach was an exciting dynamic of “Look over here, world – God’s doing something amazing. You’ll want to see this!” rather than “Don’t look my way in case I’ve crossed a boundary I shouldn’t have crossed.
Keeping your eye on the pursuit of excellence is a pursuit worthy of my time.