How a Fear of Success Holds You Back

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Welcome back!

As you discovered last time, fears are a major factor in blocking people’s success and goal achievement. Under the major category of fear come two sub-categories: fear of success and fear of failure. And while there are a lot of different types of fears (dozens if not hundreds) that can hold people back, many if not most of the most common fears fall under the above two categories.

So as we start going through some of these common fears, I’d like you to really think about your own fears. Because even on the surface if you’re afraid of one thing, deep down you may be afraid of success… or failure.

Because these two major categories of fears are so common, we’ll look at them over the next several lessons. Let’s start with fear of success…

Fear of Success

It almost seems unreal when you first hear about it: Fear of success. How can that be? How can a person who’s excited about a goal simultaneously be afraid to achieve it?

The answer is simple: The fear of success often boils down to a fear of change and a fear of the unknown. You see, people intuitively know that if the achieve their dreams, their lives will change. The bigger the dream, the more change they can expect.

On the surface, this sounds great. For example, people who dream of writing a book and making millions of dollars with it may happily imagine all the benefits of fame and fortune. They daydream about what they’d do with all the money. They think about appearing on talk shows and having raving fans at book signings.

But all of this is very different from a “normal,” quiet life. It’s unknown. It’s a big change. And all of this can be quiet frightening. Suddenly people are worried about things like:

  • Having relatives and friends asking for money.
  • Less privacy.
  • Being forced to be a role model for others.
  • Being under constant pressure to succeed and do great things.

And so many more.

Another big one is being talked about in a negative way. For example, the aspiring author may hear his friends and family talk about other rich and successful people, saying things like “He’s such a blowhard and a show off now that he got his book published.” In turn, this aspiring author is afraid that if he becomes wealthy and successful, people will talk about him in a negative way behind his back, too.

NOTE: Generally, this sort of negative talk is used by people to rationalize why they don’t want to be rich and successful. Indeed, some people will even say as much. For example, they’ll say, “I’d never want to be rich because rich people are greedy, mean and evil.” That’s an excuse (a poor, untrue one) for not getting rich, which in turn becomes a block to success.

All of this is tied into a fear of success. The person needs to acknowledge this fear before being able to move past it. If you recognize yourself in this lesson, congratulate yourself… because you’re one step closer to achieving all that you want.

Now stay tuned for the next lesson, where we’ll take a close look at one of the most common fears…

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