Most people will readily admit that they are afraid of failure.
But what about fear of success? Is it possible that you are afraid of success and it’s limiting what you want to do in life?
Do you often wonder why you are not as successful as you know you could be – or should be?
Do you blame it on circumstances? Time? Money? Or do you ever, gulp, blame it on yourself?
The truth is a lot of people are afraid of a lot of things. And there is lots of good advice out there to help you overcome many types of fears. But when it comes to success, most people who are afraid of it are not even aware of it.
So, how can you tell? How do you know if you’re one of those people who are afraid of success so you are unwittingly the one responsible for holding yourself back? CNN Money has a quiz you can take which includes the following questions:
- Do you feel guilty about your own happiness if a friend tells you s/he is depressed?
- Do you find yourself not telling others about your good luck so they won’t feel envious?
- Do you have trouble saying no to people?
- When you start a project do you suddenly find a bunch of others things you suddenly have to take care of?
- Do you believe that people who look out for themselves are selfish?
- Do you avoid asking for help because you’re afraid of bothering someone?
Did you answer “yes” to some of those questions? If you did, it’s entirely possible you’re afraid of success. But does it really matter? Is your fear really limiting you?
People who are afraid of achieving success can experience the following:
- A noted lack of effort in achieving goals, personal, school, or financial
- Self-destructive behavior
- Inability to make decisions and choices
- Lack of motivation
- Belittling your achievements
- Feeling guilty when you do succeed
- Making the “wrong” choices to ensure you will not be happy and successful
- General negativity
Clearly the answer is if you fear success then your life is less than it could be.
But what can you do? What can you do to overcome success-fear so you can get on with creating the life you want to live?
You can begin with taking about 10 minutes to examine an area of your life where you are not as successful as you would like, or know you can be. Ask yourself, what will happen if you really succeed in that area. Be realistic in your considerations and don’t forget to examine the “downside” of success in that area. For instance, if you lose weight will you suddenly get noticed in ways that feel stressful? Will you have to spend a lot of money you don’t have on new clothes? Make a list of everything that comes to your mind.
- After the examination period, ask and answer the following
- What can you do to accept yourself as successful?
- What can you do to eliminate your “excuses?”
- Who can you call on to give you honest feedback when you go into self-destruct mode?
- What can you do to keep a closer eye on your motivations and commitment’s to goals so you can more quickly get back on track?
- What can you do to learn to accept compliments and recognition?
This is the most important step of all. We often tend to put ourselves around like-minded people without even realizing it and that makes it even harder to break a pattern. So go out of your way to surround yourself with successful people rather than others who may also fear success. Start today.