The Struggle is Real: Is it Fear of Success or Fear of Failure?

March 1, 2016
the struggle is real

Sometimes you can be in love with the struggle. It can ignite your desire to work harder and to push when all you want to do is give up.

It’s like when you’re lifting weights in a gym; when you go to the edge of your endurance you get to the point where you have nothing left. That’s the point where the breakdown happens that leads to the rebuilding.

Over time you can feel yourself going longer, having more energy to push through. I’m not talking about pushing too hard and burning out. That’s a different thing entirely. I’m no stranger to that.

Being a workaholic is probably the only acceptable addiction. The one you can talk about openly without someone either wanting to call the police or stage an intervention.

But after a while the struggle can get to be enjoyable. It can get your adrenaline flowing as your stress levels surge. You’re going against the odds. Getting it done. Aren’t you proud of yourself?

Always pushing and never giving up. You can fall in love with the struggle. when that happens, it’s hard to let things flow. Because if there’s no fight, something’s missing.

“Every great work, every big accomplishment, has been brought into manifestation through holding to the vision, and often just before the big achievement, comes apparent failure and discouragement.” ~ Florence Scovel Shinn


I’ve had that happen with my writing. When I write, and I’m in the flow, it feels great. It doesn’t feel like work. Or how we think work is supposed to feel. Painful. Awful. Exhausting. Without a doubt writing can be that way at times when you’re reaching for something and can’t get it on the page.

So if you’re working on a business idea. You’re all excited and stressed and ready to put it all out there. Putting in time and money and whatever else you’ve got. Priding yourself on what you’re willing to do to get it done.

What happens if you get to a place where you don’t have to struggle?

What if you can get into a mode where you can, for the most part, get things done without running yourself into the ground. Without skirting the edge of your endurance?

“Go all the way with it. Do not back off. For once in your life, go all the goddamn way with what matters.” – Ernest Hemingway.


Either though experience, or getting help or gaining knowledge, you’ve arrived at the place where you’ve reduced the need for constant struggle. There’s still effort, but things get done with less drama and exhaustion.

What happens when youLindsayHenwood_unsplash achieve the goals you’ve set.

You’re on the top of the mountain. You’ve done it. Now what? Where do you go from there?

When you’ve achieved the thing you’ve been giving all your energy to –what then?

Sometimes the love of the struggle…the getting…is stronger than the desire for the having.

Where are you on your journey? Are you putting off reaching your goals because the struggle feels so much better?


Copyright © Deborah A. Bailey




Deborah A Bailey

Deborah is a writer, writing workshop presenter and published author. She's host of the Women Entrepreneurs Radio podcast.

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  • Lillian De Jesus March 10, 2016 at 8:43 PM

    Hi Deb,

    This reminds me of what I call ‘the entrepreneurial mind’. We set so many goals into a business, once one is accomplished we almost feel like we haven’t gotten anywhere because we have so many other goals to complete. I sometimes wonder if the huge goals are the only ones that we count as achieving anything at all because those are the ones we certainly struggle for. No matter what we should celebrate the little successes even if there wasn’t much of a struggle. All the little goals must be achieved to accomplish a larger one. At least that’s what I think.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Deborah A Bailey March 10, 2016 at 10:57 PM

      I totally agree, Lillian. We do end up focusing on the big goals and the sweeping transformations. But we overlook the smaller accomplishments that have been moving us forward step by step. Certainly helps to have a different perspective! Thanks for your comment!

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