Many people relate to having a fear of failure yet plenty of my clients I have worked with have just as much fear of success. It may sound funny, but many people fear success and don’t realize it.
Regardless of your personal definition, take a moment to consider for a moment what you believe about success. At first, the list may include a sense of accomplishment, the attainment of goals, happiness, feeling like you have overcome in some way, and so on. Yet, we often hold a shadow concept about success too. The underbelly of success seems less positive. If you are not comfortable with attention or the pressure of being on top, requests for help, and the potential of disappointing others, then you may fear success from that standpoint.
Success makes your life easier in some ways and brings new challenges in others. Success requires us to level up in areas of life that may feel intimidating.
You might be suffering from a fear of success if you regularly sabotage yourself or have difficulty pursuing your dreams. Some of the typical ways people can stop their progress in its tracks are:
1. Success requires you to be more than you’ve been demonstrating. Our brains crave comfort. Comfort equals survival, which is your brain’s primary objective.
● Changing your life requires changing your behavior, mindset, and perhaps even your beliefs and values. Thinking about that can create discomfort.
2. Success brings social pressure. Success isn’t just a big bank account and glory. People look at you differently when you’re successful. In fact, many people that ignored you before will start paying attention.
● If you are making a lot of money, people may treat you differently or expect you to pay for everything.
● If you are becoming well-known in your area of success, you may feel a lack of privacy and as if you have to always be on.
3. Success is new territory for you, and you fear the unknown. You know what your current situation is like. You might not enjoy your current situation, but you know what to expect each day.
● Changing your life means dealing with new situations and new people. This can be unsettling to consider.
4. You’re afraid of what you might become. You might consider yourself to be a good person, but maybe you have some concerns about what you might do if you had more money and power.
● We’ve all seen it in movies and read books about the character that changed for the worse after achieving a great success. In this case, you may have an assumption about people who achieve success which may cause you to sabotage your own.
5. You’re concerned that success might not be as great as you imagine. We often expect life to let us down in some way.
● You might be sabotaging yourself by worrying that you’ll put in all that work only to be disappointed in the end.
6. Fear of criticism. Many people are suspicious and critical of successful people. Of course, much of this is often due to jealousy. Perhaps you’re concerned that you’ll be seen negatively by those around you.
● This is more likely to happen if you view successful people in a negative light. You’ll naturally expect others to see you in the same way.
7. Fear that you’ll become someone you don’t like. While there is no reason that success would fundamentally change who you are, many people believe that success is toxic in some way. However, success can actually provide you with more opportunities to be your truest self.
The fear of success might not be as obvious as the fear of failure, but it is a real challenge for many people. If you’re not enthusiastically pursuing your goals, consider the reason. Are you afraid of success?
I offer a three-session package specifically designed to help you uncover the hidden fears around failure and success and get back on your path to reaching your unlimited potential.