Are You Afraid Of Success?

fear of successWhen you look at buying and turning around a large apartment building, the “how to” is a pretty straight forward process. However due to the nature of the project, and what needs to be done, fear often gets in the way and sabotages your progress.

What kind of fear?

Fear of the zeros, fear of not being having the money for down payment, or earnest money, or even the loan application fee. Fear of not having answers, for brokers, attorneys, private lenders. Fear of embarrassment, fear of feeling stupid, of being rejected, to name a few.

The fear that is most destructive though, and lurking just below your awareness, is fear of success.

When you buy, syndicate, and turn around, say, a 150 unit building, your life changes in some fundamental ways. You start at the beginning and set your goal, then take the first step and talk to some brokers. You discover that you actually know more about how to value a deal than the broker, and you get some confidence.

You learn to address blind fear, and break the fear inducing activity down into steps, then set goals around those steps, and achieve those goals one at a time. Then you make progress, and you gain more confidence each time you do this.

You learn to sell others on the benefits of investing with you, helping them overcome their blind fear with your confidence. You learn to have faith in yourself and your vision for the property and push forward into the unknown.

You become more confident and connected with “reality”, you learn to hold other people and organizations to account.

Then finally, after solving all the problems in the deal and achieving all your goals, you own a fully stabilized apartment building with $15,000 a month net spendable income hitting your bank account each and every month.

Now at this end of the process, you see the world as one endless succession of opportunities, rather than feeling trapped by your current circumstances. In short, you go through a transformation, and become a different person. You leave the old “you” behind, and go forward as the new “you” with your new skills and perspective

However, it is at the beginning, when you are starting down the path of your transformation that fear of success raises its head.

Here’s how it works.

You are a kind, generous, thoughtful person who doesn’t want to hurt your loved ones or those around you. However, when you are successful with your apartment turnaround, and you have five figures coming into your bank account every month, those around you will feel small, inadequate, and worth less, thinking what you have just done and the success you have just achieved is out of reach for them.

You don’t want to be responsible for “hurting” the ones you care about, so you find ways to avoid “locking on” to a success path in your apartment investing quest.

In the movie Notting Hill, there is a scene where William (Hugh Grant) brings Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) to his little sister’s birthday party being hosted by Charles, one of his childhood friends. Anna is a world famous movie star, as Julia Roberts is in real life. There are many funny reactions when everyone meets Anna, realizing they are in the presence of someone who has succeeded in their field to an extent they probably never will. Charles, addressing the elephant sitting in the room, says after dinner, “You know Anna, having you here confirms we are the most desperate lot of underachievers ever assembled.” The scene illustrated how completely intimidated everyone initially was by success (represented by Anna). The poignancy of the movie though was Anna was just a person trying to enjoy herself with some friends.

You have no doubt experienced this yourself, when you come into contact with a person who has achieved something substantial in their lives; whether it’s an academic who has written an important paper, a musician who is touring a successful album, an actor who played a key role in a successful movie, the Founder or CEO of a company that growing and widely successful, an athlete who achieved an inspiring win, or another apartment investor who has already completed numerous deals and has very strong cashflow and balance sheet, when you come into contact with an achiever you suddenly become aware of the gap between where they are in their professional lives and where you are in yours, and you feel humbled and small next to the reality of their success.

What is going on here really?

It is you recognizing the “new you” of others. You recognize they have encountered all the obstacles to their goals, and overcome them. They have faced blind fear, had voices in their heads telling them to stop, been told they were crazy, but gone ahead anyway … and discovered the fear was all a mirage. And now without fear there is just accomplishment, and confidence.

It is the confidence exuded by those who have made their transformation that is jarring to those still in the grip of fear.

When you start on the journey of your first apartment deal, and your transformation begins, the confidence and self worth you build as you pop the bubbles of fear and move through obstacles along the path of your first deal, will be jarring to your current friends and family members.

They may feel threatened by your new venture and lightly mock your ambition. They may cast doubt that anything like apartment investing can be done unless you are rich already.

In these cases, realize it is not you that has the problem. It is your friends and family who are coming into awareness about their own fears and relative lack of accomplishment, now there is the contrast of you showing personal courage, breaking through barriers and going ahead to achieve your dreams.

Then again, they may just continue being who they are and it is you who feels guilty they are not able to break the confines of their existing lives and join you on your grand new adventure into unlimited opportunity.

This is where self sabotage may occur. You forego your own personal development and success as an apartment investor in order to spare the feelings of your friends, family and loved ones. If you become another person they don’t recognize, you will be leaving them behind. In a sense, you will abandon them.

Of course you are not doing that in reality, but in terms of your current emotional relationships, that is how you may subconsciously interpret your actions. To your emotional self, you are abandoning your friends … and only very selfish and heartless people do that.

When you come to an awareness that this happening in your life, you have a choice. You can stay where you are in life and continue experiencing your current circumstances, or you can make changes, start doing things you haven’t done before and start experiencing new circumstances.

You may be avoiding your new life of apartment entrepreneurship because you don’t want those you love to feel hurt, and you may be unaware this is what you are doing.

The reality of the matter is, you have to leave some old relationships behind.

As you go through your transformation in doing your first apartment deal, you will be forming new beliefs about what is real and what is not real, what a problem is and how to create solutions, what is possible, and what you are capable of when you orient yourself toward achieving this goal that will change your life.

Your new beliefs will change how you see the world and give you a new perspective. Your new perspective may not sync with the perspective of your friends, family and loved ones, as your old perspective did, and you may not have that in common with them anymore. But that is OK. It doesn’t mean you are rejecting them. It doesn’t mean you are no longer their friend. You are certainly not” abandoning” them.

What you are doing is fulfilling your potential, something every person living has the right to do, if they choose.

Your friends will understand this, and probably start rooting for you once they know what you are doing. Those that don’t, well, that is their concern, not yours.

Stay in awareness of fear of success and it workings as you overcome the obstacles of doing your first apartment deal, and your world changes around you.