afraid to succeed?

jumping to succeed
Embrace the good stuff in your life and celebrate with others. You know you want to!

One of the quotes from our manifesto is "Do one thing a day that scares you" - and I totally do. I am the first to jump off a cliff into open water, I will show up into a foreign city with no plans, and I actually embrace failure like it's a trophy. My friends know I have this weird rule where I am willing to try anything three times. So I never thought I was afraid of anything. But through digging deeper and figuring out what type of listener I truly am, I discovered I am afraid to succeed.

Hmpf! Afraid to succeed? I had never heard of this before. I would constantly hear the cliché I'm afraid to fail - but that phrase has never left my mouth.

I have viewed every failure in my life as a learning opportunity. Every time I didn't get the marks, I didn't get the job, I didn't get the guy, I didn't get something, I knew that there was a plan for me and I just worked harder and made my goals bigger, better, more bad asser. I would then achieve better marks, nail a cooler job, and - um, still working on the guy area! Some goals I achieved and others I reworked, but I never took the time to stop and pat myself on the back or take in the acknowledgement from others for things that have gone well. I simply pushed it the back burner and said "Next!"

I recently had the chance to spend some time with an amazing group of managers from lululemon for a breakout session with Andrea Bennett (lululemon's Canadian training manager) and Susanne Conrad. When you look Susanne up on lululemon's company directory her title couldn’t be more fitting: Director of Possibility. She is full of sass, has the spirit of an uninhibited five-year-old, the vocabulary of your best girlfriend after a night on the town, and someone you could have tea with and not realize the cup had been empty for hours.

Susanne led the group on a path of discovery and development, and what happened during this time has completely shifted my mindset about success. I realized I had been telling myself it wasn't okay to totally own the great stuff in my life, truly take in compliments, or party it up when everything's awesome! I thought that no one wanted to be around someone who is full of themselves... right?! But the truth is, no one wants to be around a person who can't stop and acknowledge their own hard work.

This experience was literally the best slap in the face I have received: a wide open five-fingered whack right to the internal thought process that gave me permission to stop and tell myself: "Self, you kicked ass!! You did good."

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This is so amazing Shawna and so inspiring. It is so true that it is easier to be hard on yourself than it is to recognize your successes. A good reminder for all of us. Peace.

Comment by Alexandria — December 11, 2009 @ 4:29 pm


I am so glad you posted this! It’s a great reminder for everyone to take a moment and spread the high fives (or however you want to celebrate). I am going to give you a high five right now, you rock and I love working with you!

Comment by Facebook User — December 11, 2009 @ 4:30 pm

Fabulous post – could not have come into my blog feed at a better time! My favourite line: “Self, you kicked ass!! You did good.”


Comment by Steph — December 11, 2009 @ 5:04 pm

I want a breakaway session w/Andrea & Susanne too! I need a reminder to be proud of my accomplishments… and this was it! Thanks Shawna!

So… care to share some of your successes with us so that we can cheer you on?

Comment by Marisa — December 11, 2009 @ 5:10 pm

oh shawna, i LOVED this post. i’m sending a virtual high-five your way! xo

Comment by tiffany a. — December 11, 2009 @ 5:25 pm

ps – that is the cutest photo of you EVER!

Comment by tiffany a. — December 11, 2009 @ 5:27 pm

Proud of you lady! Great debut! :) Thanks for the reminder. And yes. You are AWESOME!

Comment by Elissa Joy — December 11, 2009 @ 6:47 pm

It’s amazing how we can keep going for such a long time, full steam ahead, and not realize that something like that is happening. Reading this post really made me think about owning my own successes. I usually put off the things I have done as not carrying much weight compared to what I still have yet to accomplish, but it’s definitely worth a good pat on the back and a job well done to the self. Thanks Shawna!

Comment by Brian — December 11, 2009 @ 7:50 pm

Wow, this is an amazing post, Shawna. Thanks for sharing. I’ve been working on a post about how I hold myself back, but then I never submitted it because I didn’t think it was good enough. Bleh.

Comment by Billie — December 11, 2009 @ 9:28 pm

It is good to pat ourself on the back every once and a while, isn’t it? Your new perspective is very refreshing. It sounds like the breakout session really got you all thinking outside of the box. I’d love to learn more about that you learned about yourself! Thanks, Shawna.

Comment by Elizabeth — December 11, 2009 @ 10:14 pm

This is such an inspiring piece, Shawna. Thank YOU for digging deep and putting pen to paper to uncover such a beautiful piece of writing.

Comment by Kelly — December 12, 2009 @ 7:33 am

I *heart* you, Shawna!

Comment by Kristine — December 12, 2009 @ 9:52 am

love the inspiring words.. i’m glad to see that the aura surrounding lululemon employees radiates to everyone they come in contact with.

thanks for sharing.

Comment by 'Xander — December 12, 2009 @ 10:33 am

Own it, girl. Great notes on knowing it’s OK to have a robust self-esteem.

Comment by Lauren Clapperton — December 12, 2009 @ 10:54 am

Awesome post Shawna. Jason and I took up the challenge and climbed Mount Atlas in Morocco last mth. Errghhh.. if only I could show you the pix!! Miss you lots. xoxo

Comment by Your friends at Yoga Tree — December 12, 2009 @ 2:13 pm

Thank you for this post. I wish you lived in Gainesville and were moving to dc so we could be friends. That’s how much I loved this post.

Comment by Kristie — December 12, 2009 @ 4:50 pm

Great post miss jaques!!! I need a slap in the face sometimes and your post inspired me to go out and get one!!! you da bomb miss jacques!!!

Comment by Carlson — December 13, 2009 @ 1:46 pm

Shawna, I love this post. It’s very inspiring. You should celebrate all your great accomplishments! You are ALWAYS 100% open to feedback and you work hard towards being the best. You will do (and you have done) many amazing things and I know you will succeed at anything you put your mind to. Thanks for the great read!

Comment by Kristina — December 13, 2009 @ 3:07 pm

You’re an inspiration! So amazing that you’re coming into your own and continue to discover who you are and what you want.
I am sure that the guy will come too. He would be lucky to have you!

Comment by Kales — December 13, 2009 @ 3:40 pm

This post was so inspiring
the lululemon community should be so grateful to have you as a member

Comment by Haribary — December 13, 2009 @ 6:20 pm

I love you Shawna! I miss you! I’m so proud of you!

Comment by Carmen — December 13, 2009 @ 8:40 pm

You are one of the hardest people I have ever worked with – you give 110% of yourself at all times, round the clock. I’m so happy to see you start to celebrate both the big and small wins that you have, and to have that energy be contagious to everyone you touch. Success really does breed success!

Comment by Carolyn — December 19, 2009 @ 1:03 pm

Thanks for all the kind words! This was a fun post to write and cool experience to go through. We are all go go go go kind of people, that we need to be reminded that we need to stop and celebrate our own greatness from time to time! :)

Comment by Shawna — December 23, 2009 @ 12:07 am

Amazing post!
Some days things come to you when you need them and I totally needed to read this today.
Thank you thank you thank you.

Comment by Jenna — September 7, 2011 @ 6:05 am

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