Fear of Failure or Fear of Success?

Dr. Purushothaman
December 11, 2013

Most of us have experienced the fear of failure to some degree.
Equally disturbing is the Fear of Success. Sometimes what we are
attribute to the Fear of Failure should be properly termed Fear
of Success.

Is the Fear of Success real? Might you be experiencing this fear?
Ask yourself, is there always something that gets in your way? Do
you find it difficult to stay focused? Does your motivation wane
easily? How confident are you that you can succeed?

If you are nodding assent to most of those questions, you may
very well be experiencing the Fear of Success. This fear is the
barrier to your prosperity. It is this fear you will need to
confront in order to accomplish your goals.

There are several factors that give rise to the Fear of Success:

* Any alteration from our normal routine can be scary. Although
there is a certain amount of excitement associated with new
ventures, the unknown can produce a degree of panic. You may
subconsciously be resisting the change and opting to settle for
the familiar.

* You may be wondering if you can live up to the demands of
success. There may be expectations from family and business
partners that could produce undue stress. Success is hard enough
to attain. Maintaining the prosperity may be a great deal harder.
You may have to expend more time and energy. Staying balanced
will be difficult.

* If you are a quiet person, you may not relish the attention
your success may bring. People will seek you out for advice or
set you up as a role model. You may feel pressured to keep up a
certain image. There is the fear of losing touch with your inner
self. You may resist the intrusion into your private life.

* You may hold to the belief that success is an end in itself
and once you accomplish all that you set out to do you may not
experience the jubilance expected. The dread is that you will
inherit an existence of unhappiness and discontent.

* You may hold to the belief that you do not deserve to be
financially successful. Perhaps you think it is selfish to
achieve wealth. You may feel unworthy. Or you might even think
it is sinful to desire monetary achievement.

Fear of Success can result in self-destructive behavior. You may
find yourself sabotaging your efforts to achieve and sustain
success. This might be manifest in work, in your relationships
and even in your personal growth. A lack of effort towards your
goals will be demonstrated. This behavior could result in chronic
underachievement. Your motivation will wane, leaving you with
little ambition to move forward.

When one has a Fear of Success decision-making becomes a task.
You procrastinate and continually make excuses. This can cause
feelings of shame and guilt. Instead of doing the things you
need to do to move forward, you do the very things that will
prevent your successes.

Your thinking is governed by chronic negativity, and a
pessimistic attitude. You find it impossible to visualize
yourself as successful and happy. You may be thriving on the
sympathy of others and are fearful that if you achieved
success you would lose that needed nurturance.

When it comes to your achievements, Fear of Success can be
just as hindering as Fear of Failure, if not more so. You will
need to identify the negative notions you have about yourself
and replace them with positive, self-affirming beliefs. A
seminar on self-esteem, or a self-help book dealing with
replacing negative emotions can help.

A search online can bring up some really good motivational-
inspirational sites that have excellent advice on dealing with
the Fear of Success. These give insight and and practical
exercises you can put into practice.

If you can honestly identity that you have a Fear of Success,
then take the steps that can produce a more positive outlook.
Your future can be bright. We all have choices to make. Life
can be beneficial and beautiful. Make the choice to believe
in yourself. Choose to be happy and successful. With a little
effort you can do it. And yes, you do deserve it.

Read Related Recent Articles