Whether you’re young or old, at the top of your game or just getting started in the working world — fear of success is a very real and very pervasive thing that can dramatically undermine your happiness. When we suffer from a fear of success, we self-sabotage and turn away from opportunities that might otherwise offer us rewarding experiences and fulfillment. If we truly want to find our way to that golden future, we have to learn to turn away from this fear and learn how to plant ourselves in the environments in which we can bloom.
To overcome this irrational fear of getting it right, we have to let go of our fear of being wrong and cultivate the understanding that allows us to unravel our most negative and toxic beliefs. Only by digging into the root of our insecurities and making peace with who we are and what we want, can we truly unlock the opportunities we need in order to achieve our goals and our dreams. We are the only ones responsible for our happiness and our success, but that’s a heavy cross to bear when you’re bogged down by the idea that you’re not good enough or not worthy enough. Let go of your fear of success if you truly want to thrive, and do it before you’re stuck forever.
The complicated reality of being successful.
More often than not, we find our fear of success somewhere between our desire to flourish and the deep-seated insecurities that plague us from childhood onward. Hitting the big time or getting what you want can be a scary idea, but it’s an even scarier idea to think that you’re worthy of having everything you want in this life. If we want to build a future in which we achieve something meaningful, we have to let go of our fear of success.
The further we go in this life, the more we come into contact with the things the provide us hope and fulfillment. We raise these things up on a pedestal but, frequently, we find ourselves paralyzed and unable to pursue them in any meaningful way. We turn away from them, sabotage ourselves, and make ourselves miserable; all in the name of some unknown feeling of guilt or insecurity that tells us we can’t handle getting precisely what we need to be happy.
Fear of success is a toxic and pervasive state of being to exist in, and it’s one that can further feed in our isolation or feelings of loneliness or worthlessness. When we allow ourselves to remain stuck and detached from the people, environments or experiences that might otherwise help us thrive, we make the conscious decision to deny ourselves sustenance for our souls. Being happy means having the confidence to stride confidently after the things we want in this life. That means letting go of the idea that we aren’t good enough, or that success will somehow change us — while taking responsibility for all the good things we want from the world around us.
Why we’re so afraid to do well in life.
Our fear of success comes from a number of places. For some, it comes from a place of low self-worth, or adverse childhood experiences that left them believing they would never have the things they want in this life. For others, this fear can be matching by inventive new realities, and stories in which they remain the victim of the story…rather than the hero.
Afraid of who we are
Many of us have this delusional idea that being successful or earning a lot of money will turn us into someone else. Money is an inanimate object. It does not have the power to brainwash us or trick us into turning into a nasty person. What it does have the ability to do is give us the freedom to fully express ourselves, and fully explore the experiences and behaviors we want to. No matter how successful we are, we are in control of how we act and what we believe. When we fail to take responsibility for who we are, however, it makes it easier to fear the success we don’t fully understand.
Endless imposter syndrome
Imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon that causes us to invest in the belief that we are inadequate or incompetent — despite any evidence that proves otherwise. It’s a corrosive and toxic state and one that can cause us to deny ourselves a number of poignant and beneficial opportunities. Not all imposter syndromes look alike, but they do all result in the same consequences: holding yourself back from the good things you deserve in this life.
Inability to handle criticism
We live in an increasingly negative society and that means, often, (when we’re out there striving to do our best) we bring out the worst from every shadowy corner. Many of us have an intolerable fear of the judgment of others, and even greater fear that we will be denied or dejected if we put ourselves out there in any way. This fear holds us back and can lead to denying ourselves critical opportunities that might otherwise lead to happiness and fulfillment.
Can’t manage the spotlight
Observing and admiring the success of others is completely different from experiencing it ourselves. No matter what your definition of success looks like, it will come with it the admiring eyes of a lot of people. With those eyes comes pressure, both from the outside and the inside, and that can be a hard cross to bear. Not everyone is cut out for the spotlight, but that doesn’t mean you should hold yourself back or be afraid to thrive.
Absolute fear of change
One of the most common reasons we allow our fear of success to hold us back is our overwhelming fear of change. As humans, we love the routine, and we tend to fear anything unknown or potentially uncontrollable. The problem with that, however, is that change is the only constant in this life. Everything around us is always changing — our relationships, our careers, everything. The only way to get through life happily is to embrace this change and embrace everything you want from a successful and fulfilled future.
Collapsing support networks
When we succeed we grow, and growth inherently requires us to become larger and in need of different environments. When a plant outgrows its pot, it doesn’t just remain in the pot. That means death. Instead, the plant is moved. Transferred somewhere else where its surroundings and the things that nourish it are a better fit. The same happens when we succeed in life. Success inherently means moving on and moving up. It means outgrowing people and jobs and homes. It means planting ourselves in a better environment, but fearing that change can hold us back needlessly…