6 Reasons Why We Fear Success and What To Do About It

It sounds silly to be afraid of success right? I mean who does not want to succeed? Who does not want to achieve their dreams? Who does not want to reach their goals?

We all want to succeed. We might have different reasons for wanting what we want, sometimes it could be to prove something internally, while at  other times it can be about proving something to someone else. Sometimes it can be about a desire to create or make the world a better place. Either way, we all want to succeed, so why would we sabotage success for ourselves?

I’ve been feeling very blocked the last few months. I know what I want in life. I know my goals, I write them out all the time. More importantly though, I’ve written out steps I need to take in order to achieve my so called goals. Yet, I’m stuck in this in-between space of knowing what to do, but not actually doing it. I think many of us spend time in this space, and maybe the reason we do this is because, in our own way, we are afraid of success. 

Our reasons to fear success are valid, but if we want to get past them, we first need to understand them. Pay attention to why we aren’t letting ourselves succeed. We already have everything we need to be who we want to be, and what we don’t have, we can learn. That is the beauty of this life. 

So here are 6 Reasons Why We Fear Success and ways we can overcome it. 

1. Succeeding is hard work

In order to be really great, to be the best of the best, requires hours and hours of study and work. In order to succeed we need to first accept this. Then, make sure you are passionate about what you are working on. Hard work is easy when you love what you are doing, when you see the reason, and greater good your work can bring.  

So, if you find yourself fearing hard work, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate whether your choice is the right fit for you. At the end of the day, when you find the thing you really love, hard work will mean nothing in the face of impetuous passion. Find your passion and hard work will no longer be an obstacle. 

2. Success requires sacrifice

Now, if success to you means being the best at what you do, you are going to have to make sacrifices. If you want to be an Olympic swimmer, you will have to sacrifice a lot of your personal life in order to train. If you want to start a business that might mean sacrificing part of your social life, and dedicating that time towards your work. If you want to be someone who travels the world you are going to have to sacrifice not always being present for big occasions back at home, you’ll sacrifice time with family and friends. 

If you decide you don’t want to sacrifice these things, that is 100% okay. Just know that in order to succeed at certain things there will be sacrifices that will have to be made. You might have to make these sacrifices for a few months, years, or maybe decades. Take time to evaluate what is important to you. If being home for every single birthday and family occasion is something you cannot do without, maybe travelling around the world constantly isn’t the right future for you. If you want to go out every night and enjoy being young, maybe this isn’t the right time for you to start a company of your own. 

There is nothing wrong with realising that you aren’t willing to sacrifice certain things. It takes courage and strength. Take your time and decide what you really want at this point in your life, and if you can deal with the sacrifices that come with that decision. Also remember you aren’t going to have to sacrifice things forever, but for now you have to decide what your priorities are at this stage in life. 

3. Aiming for success is a risk

The fear of failure can be a huge block in our lives. In order to move past this we need to work on changing our mindsets. If your fear of failure is what is stopping you from even starting then you aren’t thinking about failure in the right way. Google defines failure as “a lack of success”. This is a flawed concept. Failing at something means that you tried. It means that you now know what doesn't work. It means you can try again. 

Start looking at everything is life as a learning experience and watch how things start to open up to you. Everything you do is an experience to learn and to grow. Yes, if you aim for success you could fail, it could be public, and draining; however, if you never aim at all, then not only will you not succeed, but you will also miss out on the chance to learn and grow.

4. Succeeding could mean having to step outside your comfort zone.

We all dream about succeeding, and sometimes we start to fear what success could mean before we even reach that point. This fear causes us to put up a barrier where we could unintentionally be sabotaging ourselves because we are afraid of the aftermath of success. 

If you are someone who is private and quiet, and like sitting behind a desk, maybe the idea of people actually knowing who you are and wanting to spend time speaking to you and learning from you, terrifies you. Maybe you hate the spotlight. Maybe you can’t stand being in the public eye. It’s important to know these things about yourself, but I also want you to know that you are given what you can handle in life. We learn our greatest lessons in experiences and places that we never could have dreamt up for ourselves. We also underestimate our true strength a lot. You are stronger and braver than you think. In order to recognize your own power you need to give yourself a chance to face your fears. I want you to look at yourself in the mirror and repeat this mantra:

The universe is sending my way only that which I can handle.

5. Can I maintain my success?

If this a fear of yours, take a breath. Inhale. Exhale. Focus on being present. Focus on being in the now. You cannot control the future. You can live each and every day, and plan for the future, but you cannot control it. Remind yourself of this often. When you feel this fear coming up, focus on your breath.

6. Believing you don’t deserve success because you are an imposter.

There is only one you in this world. No one else can do what you can. Fearing you are an imposter comes from an inability to believe in yourself, an inability to truly see your worth. 

Your dreams and passions are so special because they are uniquely yours. Practice believing in yourself. Practice loving yourself. Until you do this no one else can. Use this as an opportunity for self growth. 

Only you can tell yourself what you deserve. You are in complete control so change the way you speak to and about yourself. You are great, and wonderful and so deserving! Remind yourself of this and mean it when you say it. Believe in yourself. 

The world is waiting for what you have to give it. There maybe a million people thinking and offering similar gifts but no one will do it like you can. No one will use the same words or think exactly the same way. At the very least there is at least one other person out there who is waiting for you. Who needs your way of expression in order to understand a concept. People are waiting for your authenticity, start believing in it so that you can start sharing it.