Don't Be Afraid of Success
“Success” is ubiquitous. If you listen to the media and life coaches, everybody wants it. If we don’t watch it, we’re being served 101 different recipes for success. But if you talk to your friends, some actually seem to fear it.

Let’s start, well, at the beginning.. What IS success?
Wikipedia defines it as

  • Attainment of higher social status
  • Achievement of a goal, for example academic success
  • The opposite of failure

Usually, success is connected with an improvement or increase of something: Social ascend; an increase in public attention, popularity, fame, money, or influence; receiving public endorsement through Oprah Winfrey; being invited to perform for the White House; or simply, having your name become googleable – all this can mean success to some.


Think about it – No wonder so many of us are scared of success! Newsflash: Not everyone likes attention. A good amount of smart and / or creative people (= good disposition for success, in our culture) are actually introverts, so they want to AVOID attracting attention. If you belong in this category, and you accept the above definition, you might trick yourself into believing you don’t WANT success – and do your part to avoid it!

Many smart or creative people are actually introverts, so they want to AVOID attracting attention.

But all ye introverts, fear not. For if you consult a few different sources, you can get to a quite different definition of success, one you might be a lot more comfortable with:

Success is derived from the Latin succedere, meaning coming close after. You’ll see related words in English, such as to succeed, or successor.
So, the original meaning of success translates not so much to improvement or increase of attention or means, but more to a relatively neutral consequence (of an action).


Following this more literal definition, success becomes a lot less scary, and thus, a lot more accessible – even to people outside the extrovert spectrum!

(And by the way, this definition applies to success in other languages, too: The French succès and the Italian successo have the same Latin root. The German Erfolg (it follows”) is a literal translation from the French. And In Spanish, éxito is derived from Latin exitus, meaning to go out – in English, we have the related outcome or result.)

The word success really means nothing more than “it follows”.

This means that we can totally think of success as more of a consequence to our actions: If you put something out there, something will come back. All you have to do is actually do it!

So, there’s really no need to be afraid of it!!

Wishing you all a great week! 🙂