The Fear of Success

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I recently shared this video based on an interaction that I had with a teacher who was sharing about how they felt uncomfortable trying new things.  I wanted to share my thoughts in video form below:

This is not the first time that I have heard someone nervous about trying new things because they were worried about how others would perceive them and that it would put pressure on others to step out of their comfort zone. I also share the following in “The Innovator’s Mindset“:

…(an) educator shared a similar story, explaining that she wanted to try something new called “blogging.” The teacher asked her principal if she could try it out and, at the time, was told “no.” The reason? The principal was concerned that if the venture succeeded, everyone on staff would be expected to do it.


At least the leaders in these two cases were brave enough to say what many others think but never verbalize. The fear that drives leaders is not always about failure. Sometimes, the real fear is of success. If something works, other educators in the building would be expected to do it, thus creating more work for everyone.

Here is the thing…When you try new things, you will always face criticism. That is a reality.  If you keep your focus on serving students, then you are on the right path.

I am guilty of these actions as well.  I can understand that sometimes we worry if someone does something significant in some way that it would make me feel “less than.” I have worked (and continue to work) on the idea that my job is to elevate others and aspire to be better because of the influence of those with whom I connect. If I keep those things in mind, it will help me grow as both a leader and an educator.

Source: George Couros