When we as people think of success we often see expense. Expensive cars, expensive houses, expensive clothes. The furthest thing from our minds is fear. We see smiling faces and tanned bodies on beaches sporting trim bodies (especially in those adverts telling us we can make big money instantly). We have little in our minds that conjure up any negative feelings whatsoever.

You work hard to chase after the common ideal of success so that you can be accepted and even admired by society. You come home from a hard days work and look at what you have achieved so far and your heart sinks. You have a car that the bank owns. You live in a one bedroom apartment with maybe a balcony for a backyard. You have a job that pays enough to survive but nowhere near enough to vacation on an island like the images in your dreams.

"What went wrong?" you ask as you slump behind your computer display. The images of your dream life cycling on your screen saver. The guy on the tv said that all you had to do was put the pictures on the screen, watch them affirm that you are going to have them and the universe would give them to you. Suddenly a question pops into your mind, "So, Why don’t I have them yet?"

The answer is as contradictory as sweet lemons or hot ice: You may be more afraid of success than you are of failure.

Read that again and make sure you read it carefully. It may seem to you like I have lost my mind but believe me, I haven't. In order to prove that this anomaly truly exists and also to check whether it is the case with you, we need to do a little test. And you thought the tests were over when you graduated.

You need a pen and a notepad for this test but don’t worry. There are no wrong answers because you are the only one who knows if you’re being honest with yourself. Are you ready? Great.

1. Write the words "Success is" on the first line.

2. Complete the sentence by thinking of an answer and writing it in. Don't dwell on your answers of scratch them out.

3. Repeat steps one and two until you feel like you have run out of easy answers.

4. Now things are going to get scary… Write the words "Success is" on the next line after your last answer.

5. Dig deep this time, find what success means to you deep inside.

6. Keep repeating step 4 and 5 until you have nothing left to put after "success is".

7. When you are sure you have exhausted all the meanings you have for success go back and write what each meaning means to you.

8. After you are finished stop, take a breath and have a hot cup of something.

9. Now that you’re relaxed, you can go back and read what you wrote.

You will find that quite a few of your answers are not meanings for success at all but actually symptoms of success if you will. Is a Bentley success? No, it isn't, it is something that you buy if you have money. Is money success? No, it is something you get when you provide a product or service that someone wants and is willing to pay for.

As you read you will start to notice that the images dry up and you get to the feelings. That is where you want to be. The way you feel about success is the reason that you are or aren't successful. You may notice a few things that you didn't know that you associated with success.

For example, you might see something like this:

l Success is not caring what I say to anyone

l Success is being the best at everything

l Success is crushing the competition

l Success is doing whatever I want

Yours will be different but when I did this exercise these are the ones that scared me. If you fear what success means to you then you will fear success. Fearing what success will do to you will make you move towards failure because we all move towards what we don't fear even if it is something negative. All you need to do now is to know that you needn't become what you fear success will make of you. The choice to be more afraid of success than you are of failure is yours.

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If you'd like to find out more about being more afraid of success than failure, take a look at this video.

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