Fear of Losing Success: What if it all Goes Away

My recurring nightmare is that I wake up one morning only to discover my skills are all outdated and I have nothing to carry me through the life’s next transition. I call this my fear of losing success.

In this sudden state, I’m left with nothing. None of the right tools, none of the right experiences, none of the right connections. I’m stuck with no job and no options. As a result, I can’t even take steps to pivot, and I’m forced to watch the rest of the world pass on by.

This fear runs deep for me. Growing up in the midwest in the heart of the rust belt, I watched many people around me hit a wall in their careers usually by surprise and then they get stuck, like a ship on the rocks.  Whether the cause is automation, a recession, or some other circumstance, they are left jobless and directionless. The environment around them flows one way — forward, and in full force – leaving them behind. The reality of losing success.

What’s in a career path

Today the idea of career path is not as concrete as it once was, which is actually a good way of futureproofing. I was listening to a Super Soul Sunday podcast resently which highlights this concept well.

When starting a new job, we start off in exploration.

We move on to mastery,

Then we go to abandonment.

Not that we abandon what we were before, it’s that we take the new lessons, or skills that we’ve acquired and we take it to the next level.  You move forward to the next version of you. You start stretching the limits of your role and find ways to push the boundaries and to use your skills in different ways. Think of it as a way of hedging your bets when it comes to your career.

How to Stay in the Game

The answer to my fear of losing success, is to stay in the game and be an active part of the conversations taking place. I recently attended the Girlboss Rally in New York, and, was so inspired by all of the young women in attendance. I was equally inspired at the women who presented or led conversations on how the career path trajectory is changing and opening up. The topics were very diverse ranging from how to start your own business to how to trust your instinct, and stand up for yourself.

It’s really exciting to see the momentum building and propeling women forward in such a positive way.  I’m reminded each day of just how powerful living with intention, and having the right tribe can be. There are many other women’s forums and networking groups sprouting up all the time. Find one in your community and join in the conversation.

How are you battling the fear of losing success?

One thought on “Fear of Losing Success: What if it all Goes Away

  1. Great post and oh so true. I also believe people think they are invincible and settle into a false comfort zone. They have blinders on and miss cues only to find the wool pulled out from beneath them. This is a different world, yet the situations that arise are not so different than those before us.

    You are so on spot when you mention experiences…I call them invaluable tools, tucked away, ready to be used when something needs fixing! Sometimes we can struggle finding where we put them, but strength and resilience can’t be hidden for long. They are a part of you!

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful story!

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