What’s Stopping You? Fear of Failure? Or Fear of Success?

 Pen y Fan 3

This is a photo of Pen y Fan and Corn Du in the Brecon Beacons. Admittedly it is too early for snow. I hope! This was last November. Actually, it was 3rd November, last year, which means it’s only eleven days away. So it’s not too early for snow, really.

Followers of this blog will be aware that last year I reached my goal of walking up there. And I did it, not once, but twice. The second time was with my wife. We arrived at the summit as the other walkers were leaving, which meant that we had about ten minutes on our own in the stillness of the mountain, admiring the view and admiring our achievement. It was quite an emotional moment, sharing that success together.

Our goal for this year was to reach the summit, again. We are not getting younger. Suffice it to say that we have grandchildren, so such a hike is an achievement at our age. At 886 metres, it’s not that high a peak by many standards, but having suffered from a serious illness, it has become a symbol of my recovery. As regular readers will know, I failed to reach the summit, this year, because my wife was taken ill part-way up.

That does not mean we have given up. I will get there, again. Mountains are like any other part of life. You just keep putting one foot in front of the other until you cannot do it any more.

But although this may not be Everest, or Mont Blanc, it is the highest peak in South Wales, and for many walkers and hikers in the area it represents a sort of right of passage; a goal, if only for the sheer pleasure of enjoying the view.

Pen y Fan 4

It also gives a sense of fulfilment that follows through into other areas of life.

Dealing with the Unexpected

So my boss called me into his office, today, and started the conversation with, “This isn’t going to be easy.”

Strangely, I knew what he was about to say next. After all, I had been expecting it for some time. He has decided that he is going to merge our practice with another. There are benefits, of course. The other practice will be bringing new clients on board. But then came the blow which was rather painful, even if I had been mindful of it coming.

“It means that we will be overstaffed, particularly with qualified people.” Well that’s obvious. “So I will be looking at redundancies.” And I’m the obvious choice. “And it looks like you will be the one leaving.”

Now, is this as a result of the recession? No. In fact, as accountants, we have found that our workload is increasing. People are being made redundant, everywhere and are fed up with not being able to find a job. So they are taking their redundancy money and starting their own businesses. And, when they look at the complications of completing a tax return, where do they go for help? The accountant. That’s me.

Now, I am aware that there are a lot of people who would be absolutely devastated, right now. Strangely, however, I’m not. I will admit to being aware of concern; a little trepidation, perhaps. But not devastated. Why Not?

My boss asked me to leave the office immediately, “to think it over.”. That’s not unusual, at this level. It protects his business from sabotage and stealing client lists. So I sort of expected that. I felt it was rather disrespectful and unnecessarily lacking in trust. I am aware of annoyance; but I’m not devastated. Why?

How Mindfulness Helps

I am not devastated because I am aware of the complete picture. I have wanted to start my own practice for some time. I originally started studying accountancy so that I could be protected from the vagaries of the job market and so that I could continue to work, regardless of my health or other circumstances.

I am aware that I have become a little complacent, probably to the point of procrastination. Well, now I have a bit of an incentive to get out there and follow my dream. I will be able to earn far more than I was bringing home in far less time. And, if my practice grows well enough, I will be able to employ someone else to earn that money for me. With several grandchildren coming behind, I have no doubt that at least one of them would like to take over, at some point in time.

I am aware that I will now be in a position to spend time growing my own business, rather than someone else’s.

I am aware that this will be an incentive for me to stop procrastinating and get on with what I have to do.

Train Station in the Snow

And I am aware that just after I photographed the snow on Pen y Fan, last November, I stood on the train station platform in my boots and thermals, shivering, because of the snow. And that went on until about the end of February. I will not have to do that, this year. Strangely, my train ticket expires on 4th November; one year and one day after the first photo, with the snow, was taken.

I could go and look for another position, of course. But then, I would simply be sitting there wondering, what if?

So I am going to take my own advice and ask myself, What’s stopping you? Fear of failure? Or fear of success?

p.s. To all those bloggers who are offering ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes. I am not so desperate as to become unrealistic. Thank you for your interest, but please do not leave any comments advertising your schemes as they will be deleted.


19 thoughts on “What’s Stopping You? Fear of Failure? Or Fear of Success?

  1. While this is very unpleasant news indeed, I was afraid it might be worse, like a fatal prognosis with only 6 months to live, so I am somewhat relieved. I think choosing a career as an accountant is one of the most practical things a person can do, and I have no doubt that you will be able to achieve success with your own practice. We all need to be kicked down once in awhile to get back on our feet and rise up even stronger.


  2. One thing absent from your piece was any judgment about what happened. Your ego did not bring resentment or anger or unworthy to your doorstep or you let it go.

    To be aware and see opportunity is advanced and smooth.

    I also have stopped judging, even a meal and life opened up, exploded.

    A funny thing happened, loss did not visit my spirit anymore, I was free to live more fully.

    Nice post


    • Good point, Marty. We need to step away from our situation and not be judgemental, at least until we have a clear idea of the facts. We need to see the situation as onlookers. That way, we can be more rational in our responses. I think my boss was a bit baffled about why I did not break down in tears! I would like to think it was because I was mindful of the majority of the possibilities, even before he had finished speaking. I was glad I had practiced my mindfulness!

      Thank you for the supportive comment. We must never underestimate how much we can help each other in this way.


      • Well mindful is as observer, as you describe it as onlookers, letting the cognitive, the ego, label it or judge it.

        Imhave learned that if you judge something you have grabbed the tug of war rope. Even grabbing with one hand ties the whole organism to that judgment.

        Let go and nothing comes forward, no baggage building up, freedom of choice.

        You did not experience loss because you did not judge it as so, maybe opportunity and why cry.

        When one door closes three more spring open, if you are not glued to the resentment of that door closing.


      • Indeed. This is so true. I am looking forward to the new challenge. I took two days off to enjoy an unplanned four day vacation weekend. Monday, I start my new life in earnest.

        I’m so excited 🙂


      • That is below the ego, looking in, seeing opportunity not worry, doubt and fear, taking action comes easily from this space.

        What fires together wires together embrace this moment and that become your life, dissociate and waste all your breaths.

        When below the ego, there exists no words, dialogue, judgment, ego, cognitive anything, open space and zillions of opportunity and healing.

        So many people overlook the power to direct their attention, our greatest power and influence over life I believe.


  3. Your outlook on life is very refreshing and inspiring not once have you said Why me, it’s not fair, yada,yada you strike me as someone who will achieve your dreams no matter what obstacle is put in front of you. Good luck with everything.


    • Thank you, Jodie. None of us has all the answers, so I find that reading other people’s material is very valuable for filling in the gaps in my own knowledge. And your blog is a great help.


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