what truly drives the fear of success

what truly drives the fear of success

If you’re constantly seeing average results in your work and your life, and no matter how hard you try you always feel that there’s a glass ceiling that is stopping you from achieving bigger and better things, then it’s an indicator that you might be afraid of success. 

While the fear of failure might still drive you to take consistent actions and create better circumstances for yourself, there’s no silver lining when it comes to the fear of success. If not tackled, it can be your worst enemy and keep you from the life that you desire and deserve. 

The tricky part of the fear of success is that people don’t actually fear becoming successful; they’re usually afraid of the after-effects and consequences of achieving success. For example, they’re not afraid of money itself, they’re scared of what might happen after they start making a lot of money. The same applies for attracting a romantic partner, getting into shape, starting your dream business, and achieving similar success in other aspects of life. 

If you try something and actually succeed, you also enter uncharted waters. You don’t know what to do and how to act because everything is different. That can be overwhelming and stress-inducing. 

As Sandy Gallagher of the Proctor-Gallagher Institute writes, “Success means experiencing something different—even if it’s something you always wanted.” She further explains, “See, your paradigm wants things to stay the same, for you to remain within the box you’ve built for your life. But when you try something new and succeed, you head into uncharted territory. Things are different, and that can lead to stress and disappointment. It’s just easier to keep things the same.”

Fear of success keeps you from trying new things and taking risks. You become like that metaphorical ship in the harbor — you stay safe in your comfort zone and restrict yourself from creating opportunities to secure big wins. And thus, you never truly maximize your potential. 

You end up riding the roller coaster of failure and survival as Jeff Olson points out in his book The Slight Edge, but never truly rise further to experience success. You end up self-sabotaging your progress and participate in intentional choices and behaviors that not only keep you from success but also reinforce its fear within you, thus keeping you stuck in the prison of mediocrity.

It’s crucial that you cultivate awareness about what’s going in your head and train yourself to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. You must keep pushing boundaries and keep moving forward towards your big goals, even if they scare you. You must aim higher; even if you miss, you’ll have still come a long way. Ultimately it’s all about growth and if you’re not improving and expanding (as nature wants you to), you’re falling behind. 

Get rid of the fear of success and cultivate unshakeable confidence within yourself. It’s high time you free yourself and go for what you really want in life.