Some people have a real fear of becoming successful… yes, it is true! Some people actually fear success.
And for the person who is afraid of succeeding… the fear is real. Others around the person may not understand, they often think the person is being illogical and ridiculous… but the fear is very real and can be a major stumbling block for any real success in life.
How do you recognise a fear of success??:
- when you feel that something is holding you back
- deep down you know you are getting in your own way
- when you feel everything is out of control
- when you easily find distractions to keep you from what you are meant to be doing
- when you have trouble focusing your energy for very long
- when you lose your motivation
- when your confidence takes a knock
Any combination of the above can indicate a fear of success!
Why does it happen? What is fear of success about?:
- you find change frightening and prefer to keep the status quo… in other words, you prefer to keep things as they are. Change often involves new experiences which can be seen as scary… the fear of the unknown
- a belief that once success has happened, the expectation will be it will happen again. This is particularly real for some students. I have known several students who are aware of their ability and have a belief that they can do well, but they also have a belief that if they do well this time it will be expected that they would do well every other time. To prevent that happening, they don’t try very hard in the first place. This can happen in all areas of life and at all ages
- once success has been achieved, expectations are increased! People expect more from those who have been successful… and the successful person tends to expect a lot from him or herself and from others. Some people cannot handle pressure of expectations they put on themselves or the expectations of others
- attention success can bring may be overwhelming particularly if the person is a very private person and does not like being the centre of attention
- success is often associated with a lack of privacy in personal life e.g. TV celebrities, sport celebrities, Royalty… the lack of personal life privacy may be too higher price to pay for success
- success, particularly in business or work, often leads to major changes in schedules. Some people afraid of success fear their family life will be disrupted, fear they will need to work unreasonable hours, and fear their social life will come to a halt
- success may attract negative feelings such as envy, jealousy, anger, from others. Friends and family may suddenly treat the successful person differently, they may be envious of the benefits of success, and may ostracise the successful person. For many people, this would be extremely uncomfortable therefore needs to be avoided at all costs
- success may change your personality and confidence. Success brings about certain feelings of accomplishment and achievement. Successful people are typically more confident, more outgoing, and more in control of their life. Some people fear that they will change if they become successful
Fear of success is a real problem for some people… and it’s a problem that can be dealt with.
Have you ever had a fear of success? I have several times throughout my life… and I know how it has impacted my achievements over the years.
Often a fear of success is accompanied by a lack of confidence. Developing and strengthening your personal confidence goes a long way in reducing and eliminating a fear of success.
When your confidence is strong, you trust in your own ability to deal with changes that success brings.