Dealing with Success

Acknowledging success brings more of it to you. Not accepting success is a way to avoid it!

Colleauges celebratingThere are many ways to sabotage success. For example, some people, who say they want success, are terrified of the responsibility that goes along with being a success. They think, “If I am successful with this business, I’ll have to be responsible for many employees and their livelihoods.” This can become overwhelming, or it can lead to inhibiting fear.

Likewise, individuals may engage in self-sabotage by berating themselves, because they feel they are a “sting” of some sort, and surely someone is bound to pull the covers and expose them for being just another member of the human race.

One of the best ways to overcome self-sabotage is to identify the source of the problem.

There was a CEO who received an invitation to be a guest speaker for a very prestigious organisation. Instead of being thrilled, he thought the meeting planner sent the invitation to the wrong person.

This reaction usually has its roots in the past. The CEO did not think he had what it took to earn the right to speak before this group. But, the fact was he was already successful.

He was standing on the precipice of doing the work he had wanted to do all of his life, and it was scary.

Rationalisation syndrome

In the example cited, the CEO created the false belief that he didn’t deserve success yet, so that if it didn’t come, he could rationalise his disappointment.

Now, ask yourself, have you ever killed the deal in your head, by thinking you were out of your league, before the meeting began? At that point, you disempowered yourself.

These false beliefs are part of a syndrome. They keep you very safe; they also keep you from achieving your goals. Ask yourself: where are you in your life that you believe you aren’t worthy, and what kind of mileage are you getting out of it?

Success is a change and even though it is a positive one, it can cause many uncomfortable feelings. Success changes circumstances, and it changes people. Keep in mind you cannot control reactions of others. Some people may not know how to approach you. Others, especially those you have known for some time, may be envious. You may even begin to feel guilty about your success. These are somewhat normal reactions and need to be addressed as such. Talk with the people you are closest to, let them encourage you, and don’t forget to encourage yourself.

The cure

Acknowledging success brings more of it to you. Not accepting success is a way to avoid it! One of the ways people can be unaccepting is to gloss over their successes. They often don’t take the time to acknowledge and reward their own accomplishments. This can be easily healed, but is seldom done.

Simply spend some time congratulating yourself and celebrate your success. Take yourself out to dinner, or buy yourself something. Small and frequent celebrations create inspiration.

Barton Goldsmith
Dr Barton Goldsmith, PhD, an award-winning and highly sought-after keynote speaker, business consultant and internationally syndicated author, has helped develop creative and balanced leadership in several Fortune 500 companies, educational institutions, and government organisations worldwide. He lives in California, USA.


  1. I think that anyone can be successful that follows this idea, and I feel that I am becoming more successful because of it!!


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