Fear of Success


(The Magician, Rider Waite Tarot Deck)

Every time I get a set of marks back from my MA,  I feel a familiar sink in my spirits.

 Even though I am on my second Postgraduate degree, and even though I have never failed a module…  (and received a merit for my Library Postgraduate diploma)

 I have a confession to make – I think I’m awful at writing essays.

In fact I hate writing essays.

I’m completing an MA in Creative Writing currently, because I  want to write poetry. It is an exercise in taking my poetry seriously.

To be truly honest, I find adhering to academic standards when writing essays, deeply frustrating!

Then, if I’m not worrying about my academic writing skills, I’m worried about my poetry,  and how it fits into the current contemporary landscape.


(9 of Swords, Rider Waite Tarot Deck)

Worry is the enemy of success.

We worry if we will ever become successful, and then we worry once we begin to reach higher peaks, if this success will last or is warranted.

Is this because we believe success is a thing that can be measured?


(image from limilee.tumblr.com)

The Magician card at the beginning of this article is about manifestation. Its about the ability to make your life exactly as you want it.

It’s also about Divine Order – as it is above, so it is below. As it is in Heaven, so it is on Earth.

It teaches us that we can make amazing things happen in our lives.

Surely this means that every single one of us is a success story waiting to happen?

The first definition of success according to Oxford Dictionaries online is:

“The accomplishment of an aim or purpose.”

If our aim is to wake up each morning and make breakfast for ourselves, then we are successful at meeting that goal if we do it.

If we don’t manage it one day, that does not mean we are unsuccessful – we made the goal, so we can adjust the goal.

When did we all start measuring our successes by measurements outside of ourselves?


It’s when we compare ourselves to others that the fear of success becomes apparent.

If we are the only yardstick, there would be nothing to fear.

Instead we worry that being more, or less successful than our parents, friends, lovers or coworkers,  is somehow something to be ashamed of – without realising that we are simply successful at different things.

Success is about completing aims that we set out to achieve.

There is no such thing as failure, if we are able to adjust our aims and our goals at every point in our journey.

Success can only be measured as far as our dreams and stamina can reach.

Be successful in your own eyes.

Much love Txx

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