Are you afraid of success?

I’ve come to realize that I was — absolutely.

And I don’t think I’m the only one.

Admittedly, we can’t all be millionaires, we’re not all cut out to be brain surgeons, or to have a thriving Broadway career. But … for many of us, there are things we can do — things we should be doing — but we don’t.

We don’t believe we can, we don’t know how, and so often, we’re subconsciously scared of what will happen if we do. We might fail, sure, but even worse, we might succeed!

So we sabotage ourselves. Or we just don’t even try in the first place.

Oh boy, have I been there!

I grew up with some messed up ideas about success and about money. My dad was dishonest with his customers and didn’t exactly tell the government the full truth either. Between socialism (my dad paying 72% income tax in Holland), and his hypocrisy, the path to success has been a hard one. Learning to feel good about my success? That’s been harder still.

Success isn’t a dirty word.

Our culture can be a strange one. It’s no secret that we covet status, and wealth. The American Dream, right? We can start out with nothing and crawl our way up to the top of the hill, to a three-wing mansion, and four cars in the garage.

Yet, we’re told that money is the root of all evil. Movies and TV shows are packed with the stereotypical high-flyer who has achieved success through abandoning all morals and stepping on “the little guy”.

It’s no wonder then that so many of us find ourselves blocked when it comes to success and money. We’re conditioned to believe that to get these things for ourselves we’ll have to betray our ethics and sell our souls. Or we’re taught that success is something that happens to other people.

We need a reframe!

I’m finally in a place where I’m ready to embrace my success. I’m ready to debunk everything my dad taught me:

I AM a good musician. I AM making a good living with my music. I can be successful AND honest. I can be well off without shame.

In a previous post I touched on the new direction I’m taking with my music — offering training to other choir directors. I’ve had comments…am I worried that I’m training up my own replacements? Am I worried that I’m introducing too much competition to the market?

But those fears? They feed into that outdated notion of success. The idea that we can only get to the top of that hill by trampling over everyone else on the way up. And I’m not playing to that narrative any more.

Teaching and spreading abundance — that’s the very thing I love most about my new job.

I had 15 choir directors on board when I launched. Sure, I could view that as 15 future competitors but I’m not going to. Instead I can see myself reaching thousands of people via other directors who all get to share their joy, passion, love, and abundance through singing.

It’s exciting and I can see this getting really BIG. For the first time in my life I feel good about success. I can see myself developing online courses and hosting conferences with choir directors, who are each spreading the joy of song. Directors who are helping people feel good, helping people become their true selves.

Now that’s sharing abundance. That’s making the world a better place!

Success isn’t a dirty word and it isn’t in short supply either. Like love and joy, success only grows stronger when we share it with others. So let’s all shoot for success, knowing that the view from the top of that hill looks so much better when we have others there to share it with.

Are you an aspiring choir director who wants to turn your passion into a profession? Let’s climb that hill together!