Kris Bartels | Anxiety of Success
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Anxiety of Success

Anxiety and success seem to go hand in hand.  Along the pursuit of success, there is bound to be a few pit stops of anxiety, self-doubt, and frustrations.  People often have different definitions of success and so the anxieties may be different or may have a different effect.


When I think about success, I think long term.  I think “Where will I be in 20 years?”.  I think, “In 10 years, will I be in the same situation as I am today?”.  For some people, being where they are today, is exactly where they plan to be in 20 years.  I need growth.  I want “change”.  I want to be successful.  I want to have enough money and resources to make sure my family is comfortable.  I want to have a plan in place for my family.  I want to leave a mark.  I want to make an impact on this world and the people around me in a positive way.

So now I have identified success for myself, right? Now how do I accomplish “x, y, and z”?

The first part is the most daunting…” have enough money and resources to make sure my family is comfortable”.

I chuckle as I read “have enough money” as if there will ever be enough money.  More money, more problems.  Maybe it isn’t “enough” money, but maybe have a safety net in case there is never really “enough”.

Enough Money = Not stress over finances around the first of the month + be able to purchase whatever I want

Another way to put is, I want to be financially free.  I want to be in a position where I have a career that pays well and provides great benefits, as well as have a few side hustles going on that bring in extra spending money for my family.

The anxiety I have with includes a number of things.  First of all, I am a teacher.  I say that with a grain of salt.  Yes, I know.  “Don’t take things for granted”.  I get it, but I want to be MORE.  I love the summers off.  I love the free time I get to spend with my kid.  The benefits are great.  But still, I want more.  Selfish?  Maybe.

Maybe the education system has handcuffed educators.  Maybe the ideology of school is outdated and the way teachers are expected to teach, are not conducive to the way this generation learns.  And in turn, the students feel that school isn’t worth their time and therefore don’t care about the content in the classroom.  This isn’t true for all schools, classes, and students.  Some schools, classes, and students understand their purpose and take advantage of the opportunity.

My anxiety comes from the question….If I wasn’t a teacher, what would I be?

I want to be everything.  I want to be too many things.  I want to design, create, make, write, talk, develop, and almost everything else.  I want to be a firefighter, an army sergeant, web designer, network specialist, politician, motivational speaker, full-time coach, and much more.

I doubt that I am the only person that feels this way.  Maybe I am sulking and feeling bad about my situation (which is actually pretty awesome).  Below is how I plan on handling the anxiety of success.

  1. Be the best person I can be.  Be genuine, empathetic, and understanding to everyone around me.
  2. Keep DOING.  I understand that I do not have to have the perfect plan, but it is more important to take action on A PLAN or idea.  A busy mind does not equate to a busy life.
  3. 10 years will be here in the blink of an eye and today will be gone a lot sooner.  Embrace today and enjoy the small things.  Just like details, the small things will always be important.

Thanks for taking the time to read this rant.  I would appreciate if you could send this to someone you think could benefit or be entertained from this.  Take care.