Dealing with the Fear of Success

by Matt Savage

Oh, why hello there! You remember me, right?

For those long time readers out there, you’ve probably been wondering what the hell happened to my blog. And in case you haven’t noticed, it’s been down since late July, early August 2009. Yup, a lot of shit went down that almost caused me to keep this blog from the Interwebs for good. So, for those that are interested in the story, grab yourself a cup of hot cocoa, get comfortable and enjoy the tale.

The Spam Attack

Sometime last year, I’m not really sure when it happened, but some douche-bag had found a security hole in my site, either through WordPress or some other means. Needless to say, that same douche-bag now had access to upload stuff to parts of my hosting server without my knowledge. Given their free range to upload, that is exactly what they did.

In the end of July 2009, I got a notice from my hosting provider saying that I was hosting malware and unacceptable content on my site. This got me to thinking, “Jeez, I know the stuff I talk about is controversial, but it’s not like it’s pornography or anything.”

Well, to my surprise, there was porno being hosted on hidden pages of the site, along with all the other need to know topics of the Internet, like cheap boner pills, penis enlargement information, and gambling links to shady off-shore companies in Zimbabwe. After discovering the hidden pages in some random folder of my blog files, I found that there were literally over 3,000 pages of spammy crap. Not cool.

Naturally, my hosting provider suspended my account until I got my act cleaned-up.

The Clean-up

First thing I did was make sure I closed any security holes to keep the riff rafs out, who apparently were having their way with my slightly innocent blog.

The next step led me to deleting all of the perp’s uploaded spam pages in a fit of rage. You can’t imagine how furious I was. Some douche-bag uploads penis pages and thinks he can get away with it? Well fuck him. If I’m going to have penis pages on my blog, they’re going to be my penis pages dammit!

Of course, in my zeal for deleting the shit out of any possible offending files, I slipped up. Oh shit… where the hell are my blog files…. oh shit… I just deleted my blog!

Have you ever gotten that feeling like there was a wrench tightening around your heart? Well, that is pretty much how I felt.

Recovery

Fortunately for me, all was not lost and after a few Google searches for “I accidentally deleted my blog,” I soon realized that the database itself, the storage area where all the content, comments and links are stored, was still alive and well. The problem was only limited to re-installing WordPress and making a few minor tweaks to the configuration files and I’d be back up and running. So if it was that easy, why did it take over six months to get the blog back up and running?

The answer is a little complex and one that I am now realizing is a symptom to a larger part of my life and thought process.

If you thought this post was just going to be about technical issues, then you are sorely mistaken, this runs deeper than that, it’s a realization of what is true about ourselves.

The Fear of Success

I know, it’s messed up, why would anyone be afraid to succeed.

It sounds odd but yes, the fear of success seems to be a legitimate psychological phenomenon in many people. The fear of success is a lot like the fear of failure except one step removed. After all, isn’t the fear of failure simply the lack of faith in yourself to succeed at something. They’re somewhat intertwined subconsciously, but the difference seems to be that when people realize that they are on a path to success, their subconscious panics and realizes that change is occurring. And if drastic changes occurs to our belief system then that throws our whole reality out of whack. Once we get that reality check we are then forced to look at the truth about ourselves, a truth that we may not be willing to accept or acknowledge.

Does that make any sense? I know it’s a bit new agey and self developmenty, but I’ve been getting into that kind of stuff lately. Not to mention this is all part of one’s “Inner Game.” As they say in the seduction community, Inner Game is the first thing one needs to start working on and the last thing they will master.

Alright, so what, this still doesn’t explain why the blog was down for 6 months. Ok, fair enough, here’s my answer where I tie all this shit together like an Eagle Scout at a knot tying contest.

  • At the peak of this blog, just before it shut down, I was receiving approximately 500 unique visitors a day and over 1,000 page views per day.
  • I was getting constant emails from fans and readers, who I enjoyed hearing from.
  • I was creating connections with fellow dating and relationships bloggers across the web, writing guest articles and collaborating on joint projects.
  • I was getting noticed and having regular communication with some of the world’s best seducers.
  • I developed a vast array of technical skills from learning HTML, CSS, PHP, working with WordPress and mySQL.
  • I have even gained tons of knowledge in Search Engine Optimization and various Internet Marketing techniques.
  • Last but not least, my writing and editing skills have improved drastically over the last three years (and still improving).

So with this big list of accomplishments and acquired skills you’d think I’d be in a perfect position to succeed on the web. If not with this blog, then with something similar, right? The only way I can explain it, is the fear of success.

Now by no means is 500 visitors a day A-List traffic numbers, however, I can tell you that it is more than what 95% of most bloggers will ever achieve. The fact the blog made it as far as it did, over two years of writing content and growing in the online seduction community, meant that all I had to or have to do is just keep plugging away. That’s all there really is to it.

So lets say that the blog becomes a huge hit, a runaway success, and somehow I start raking in the dough. Then what? I quit my boring desk job and write full time? What would I tell my family? That I quit my job to write about my masturbation habits full time? I’m not joking, this is the kind of shit that swirls around in my brain. If I do succeed at this, the shift in my life would be massive and I don’t have the answers to the thousands of “what if” questions I would need to answer.

This is my fear of success.

The Next Step

So what the hell do I do? Well I think the first thing is to stop being a pussy and keep pushing through this shit. It’s time to acknowledge that I was destined to succeed and claim what is rightfully mine.

I had something good going on here. Who knows how big it could get but I think it’s safe to say that there is definitely potential to succeed.

So, I spent the day doing the necessary technical stuff to get the blog back online, it only took me a few hours and really wasn’t that bad. It looks like all the content is here and with a few more minor tweaks to the theme, the core of the blog will be fully functional.

Finally, the last thing, just keep writing, starting with this now gargantuan post. Also, I have a lot of rough drafts of various topics I’ve been fiddling with over the last six months that would be perfect for this blog. Though, the blog will no longer just be about seduction and pick-up, it will be a little more broad. It will cover more lifestyle kind of things, but in a sexy seductive way. These are the things that I’m interested in and thus those will be the subject of my content.

Yup, that’s it, that’s the plan.

Normally I’d try to come up with some dramatic or clever way to end this post, but I’m a bit rusty after six months of being a slouch, so my parting words for now, this post is fucking over.

{ 5 comments }

California February 17, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Hey Matt,

I totally relate. I am also now deciding to “change seats” and leave the corporate boring office job for something more in touch with the basics. The fear is present at every time you lose your 100% trust in yourself.

What if I fail?
What would others (family/friends) think of this decision?
Would I be losing all I have done so far?

I think that going past “the dip” and having faith in ourselves is the answer.
Sometimes even burning bridges for leverage.

I leave some posts from Tynan that apply

http://tynan.net/the-dip-and-how-to-figure-out-what-to-do-with-your-life

http://tynan.net/not-following-through

All the best,

California

David Black February 17, 2010 at 7:49 pm

Great to have you back dude :-)

I hear ya about the fear of success man. It’s like, “I wanna hold off on X until Y is just right, or Z is in place.” I’ve learned over the past few years that any action, no matter how imperfect, is better than no action at all.

Looking forward to reading your coming stuff.

Matt Savage February 17, 2010 at 10:14 pm

@California,
Yea, I’m a fan of Tynan’s blog and Seth Godin, though I haven’t read the Dip yet, but it definitely sounds right up my alley.

@David,
Thanks man, it’s good to see you’re still around and plugging away :)

Selurus February 23, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Did you figure out how you lost control of your blog?

Well once you’ve tasted success it isn’t hard to recreate it. But you’ve got to trust your instincts rather than mimic the past. All the best with your renewed effort.

Matt Savage February 24, 2010 at 4:37 pm

@Selurus,
Still not exactly sure how the perps got into the site, but I think it was some kind of security hole in an older version of wordpress, which I have fixed and updated.

So, good lesson for everyone out there using older versions of blog software… update that shit!

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