Why aren’t there enough successful Black Americans in any industry?
It’s not because they are underqualified, but because they battle with fear, anxiety, and mental health issues brought by their history and how society treats them.
Unfortunately, we live in a society that might take a while to let go of this stigma. And we, as Black Americans, should find it in ourselves to overcome our fear of succeeding in this world.
What Causes Fear of Success
To overcome your fears, you need to determine the reasons behind them.
Coined by Dr. Pauline Clance in 1985, the Imposter Phenomenon feels that you achieved all your success because of good luck. You might feel afraid, and people might discover that you are not qualified for the recognition.
The “Upper Limit Problem” is another reason one wouldn’t file for a promotion or apply for a higher-paying job. Because we are comfortable and happy the way things are, we feel incapable and overwhelmed trying to achieve something higher.
Because of historical and ongoing racial discrimination, Black Americans grew up to believe some harmful mindsets that affected their self-esteem, such as:
“A black man should not wear suits,”
“no black man could do a white person’s job,”
“there is no way a black man can become president of the US.”
However, over the years, more black men and women overcame their fears and became successful, and you can do it too! Here are five ways to overcome your fear of success:
There is no shame in undergoing therapy. Therapists can help you identify how you’re your past shame, trauma, and other emotions that block your pursuit of success and happiness—and help you overcome them.
Having a successful mentor like a former manager, friend, or boss can guide you in your field as a person outside, looking in. They can guide you in accessing your full potential without the judgment and stigma for consistent growth until you achieve success.
- Positive practices
Making a habit of claiming something before you have it is an excellent way to boost self-esteem. Thinking that you are worthy will make you feel that you deserve your success and help you push forward into achieving your dreams. Reading books and listening to motivational speakers will inspire you to reach your goal.
- Stop defining failure as the opposite of success
Whenever something or someone pushes you down, use it as motivation to climb up. Nobody would blame you if you are afraid to fail, but you might end up regretting not trying at all. Embrace failure and make it a goal to be more comfortable with failing sometimes.
- Reach out and build a community
Always reach out to your family and friends. Out of all the people in this world, they are the people who will understand you the most. Having a circle of mutually supportive black people can be particularly healing—whether you are a group of co-workers in or outside a company.