Fear of success? Most people don’t believe they fear success, but most of them would be wrong. Our lives rarely change because we become comfortable with our situation. We might not like it, but it’s comfortable and we know what to expect. Perhaps we might be unhappy, but we know we can deal with it and we like to stay in our comfort zones.
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear” – Jack Canfield
In a nutshell, we don’t like change. We also don’t like the prospect of failing or of standing out.
You might fear success if you:
- Consistently make plans for your life, but fail to follow through on them. Whether it’s to start a business, read a book a month, or hit the gym five days a week, you just can’t seem to make it happen.
- Leave projects uncompleted. This includes at work and in your personal life.
- You’re all talk. You rarely take action.
- Struggle to make decisions.
- Your life never changes for the better.
- Self-sabotage, especially when you’re nearing success.
This probably describes most of the people you know. Does it describe you accurately?
I know that being a mum I’ve seen a reflection of my own insecurities in my kids. I don’t like driving to new places and now I have one child that is reluctant to go to new places. So I’ve been pushing myself to step out of my comfort zone and fortunately, satnav helps me with any driving insecurities!
It’s time to look at your life and be honest with yourself. How many times have you given up on something because you fear success? Start a fresh page in a journal and make a list, go back as far as you can with things you have given up on. This isn’t an exercise to make you feel like a failure, just so you can see where you gave up. Now write next to them, “I forgive myself for giving up, I know I can achieve goals that are important to me”
Use these strategies to defeat your fear of success and make real changes in your life:
- Imagine being ultra successful. Imagine yourself being even more successful than you want to be. If your goal is to make £100,000 per year, imagine making £1 million. If you want to lose 2 stone, imagine getting lean enough that you can see your abs. Do this each night and morning in bed.
- Make the visualization as vivid as possible. Include all of your senses. If it feels uncomfortable, stick with it and just relax.
- In time, it will feel natural. When that happens, achieving your goal will be much easier.
- Practice standing out. Many of us fear success because we don’t want to stand out in any way. Somewhere along the way, we learned or decided that it’s better to keep our head down than to be noticed.
- There are a variety of ways you can practice standing out in your everyday life. You can stand out physically using your clothes, make-up or hair.You can do something in public that you’re either really good or really bad at, like bowling.
- Re-frame failure. Fear of success might actually be a fear of failure. Keep in mind that failure is just an undesired result. It says nothing about you. It simply means that you need more practice, more time, or a better approach. When you can view failure in this manner, there’s nothing to fear. This one is so important, I grew up fearing failure and it is only as an adult that I realise I was looking at it all wrong.
- Focus on action over thought. We can’t fear success if we don’t think. If you need to send 100 cold emails to find clients for your business, just sit down and get busy. The longer you think about it, the harder it becomes. Just decide and take action.
- Have a real vision for the future. Enough motivation can overcome any fear. Create a possible future in your mind that is worth overcoming any obstacle. Fear doesn’t matter if you have a very compelling future in mind. Have a vision board with your future life laid out in all it’s glory.
Do you fear success? It seems counterintuitive to fear success, but it’s a common obstacle to making sustained progress in life. Success brings attention, the unknown, and the possibility of failure.
Create a vision for the future that will pull you through any fears you might have. Learn to deal with discomfort. Remember, you only have one life to live. Avoid allowing fear to limit your life.
Why not download our PDF – Overcome your obstacles