Be brave, the voice inside tells me, allaying my fears of judgement, of ridicule, of accusations. It is silly, really, because what do I have to be afraid of?
Writing about success is more difficult, I have found, than writing about failure.
No one admits it, but people like it when you fail. It helps them point to you and say, “See? What’s happening to her? That was what I was afraid of. That’s why I didn’t go do that thing that I wanted to do with my life. Because I was afraid of ending up where she has. And now look at her. Was it all really worth it?”
Success? Now, that’s different.
When you speak of success, it triggers those who never did the work. It makes them come face-to-face with the reality that it was possible for them all along. That all the excuses, all the reasons, all the bottlenecks they saw in their path? Someone else had them too and they did the work regardless. It makes them look to reasons why you are successful and they aren’t. Why you have the money and they don’t. Why you have the business that they couldn’t build, the writing portfolio they couldn’t put together, the deals that never came their way.
And they tell you that you are lucky. Lucky that you have a husband who supports you. Lucky that you are young and thin. Lucky that you are “exotic.” Lucky that you only have one child, not three. Lucky that “Asian women are in vogue.”
They have to tell you that you are lucky because otherwise they’d have to admit that success is a choice and that if you had it, they must have it too.
But you must speak of success. You must speak of your power. You must speak of the obstacles you have overcome.
Because while it may trigger and upset the people who don’t see it as a choice and will never step up to the challenge, it will inspire, motivate, and light a fire under those like you, those who may have been told they had no power, but can see the power come through you and who come to the realization that if you have it, then they must have it too.
Share your success. Because it will create success for others, too.