The Pitfalls of Success

Imagine you’re standing on stage sharing your vision with a thousand women. You’ve overcome enough in your life to enjoy the platform you’re now standing on. You have fallen enough times and gotten up enough times to now be able to share your lessons. You finally know your purpose in the world and your vision is no small feat.

You are there; this is your moment of glory. You are sharing your heart and vision with these thousand women, and in your share, you tell them how they can be part of it and how you can support their vision. You tell them what it’s going to take – time, resources, a deep commitment, and feeling uncomfortable in the process. You make your invitation.

Suddenly you see them get fidgety in their seats. Some of them are looking around for that validation and agreement that what they heard come out of your mouth is crazy. Some start to move to the edge of their seats in expectation of how they are going to make this possible for themselves. Others just blatantly get up and leave.

You do your best to stay present and grounded. You’ve done this before and you know the pattern.

This is exactly what happened during a women’s conference I attended recently. The woman on stage was very powerful and she had become one with her vision and there’s no way she was coming down. She was willing to put herself out there regardless of the outcome.

Later I found myself talking to other women about our experience of, well, being sold to. Some of them were disappointed. Some were angry. Some understood the value of what was being offered.

My point here is not to agree or disagree with the speaker or the women with whom I had conversations. I get what it takes to take yourself and your business to the next level. Trust me, I have invested tens of thousands of dollars in myself and my business. I also know that it’s my choice to say yes or no to an opportunity and not feel that I’m being manipulated, coerced, or forced to do something that doesn’t resonate with me.

My point is to bring attention to how, as women, we are still living in the old paradigm of success. We are still very male-energy-driven when it comes to how we perceive success and what it takes to get there. We are still afraid of the potential of being hated, disregarded, and abandoned by our fellow sisters if we achieve a level of success that is beyond what most women allow themselves to achieve, and because of that, we feel triggered when we see another woman stepping into her own and blossoming into her full potential, and instead of supporting her and ourselves, we judge her.

We say we want to be successful and have it all, but are we willing to do what it takes? When I say doing what it takes, I’m not speaking of trampling over, being conniving, or forcing our way into success. What I mean is, are we willing to co-create, collaborate, and support each other? Are we willing to invest in ourselves? Are we willing to receive the glares, the judgments, and opinions of others? And are we willing to collaborate and support each other?

In a society that promotes heavy competition and is very adrenaline-ran, it’s no wonder we are afraid to step outside of the box and speak our truth. We say we want that, but if there’s any threat to our survival as a community that’s bound together by points of view and established norms, we usually will say no to saying YES to our authentic selves.

This is the pitfall of success for women, and unless more of us are willing to put ourselves out there regardless of the outcome, we will continue to live in survival mode as opposed to creating the prosperity we require to make the kind of impact in the world many of us envision doing with our business, and open the path for other women to choose and live their authentic and empowered life.

With that said, I invite you to go within and just listen to what the wise woman in your heart is urging you to be, do and have that will give expression to your authentic voice, purpose, and vision. Then ask, “Am I willing to do what it takes?”

BIO: Jacqueline VanCampen is the author of Letters to My Daughter: A Mother’s Journey of Healing and Transformation. She is a Wise Heart Mentor and Leader helping women become leaders in their own lives and business. To learn more about my work and how to connect with me, please visit my website at

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