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Overcoming: The Fear of Success

Having high expectations can provide you with the motivation to obtain high levels of success. With a higher success threshold, you can create the possibility of greater levels of success. But are you comfortable with success? That might seem like an odd question, but a hidden fear of success can be the ultimate form of self-sabotage. Fear of success is the concern that once we achieve something new, we'll be incapable of sustaining it or may suffer because of it. Most of the time, we're not consciously aware of this fear.

You may not even be aware that the thought of success makes you uncomfortable; however, many people are uncomfortable with the prospect of success. It seems hard to believe but it’s true. You may ask yourself: who wouldn’t want to be more successful? Rather than viewing it as a fear of success, it’s more accurate to say it’s a fear of the possible consequences of success. Either way, addressing and eliminating your fear could be all you need to take your life to the next level.

The fear of success can manifest itself in different ways. Procrastination, avoiding opportunities, and shying away from praise are some signs of discomfort with success. Do you suddenly feel tired when performing a task that could take your career to the next level? These are signs that your subconscious is derailing your efforts. Notice signs of self-sabotage in your work and relationships. Ask yourself why you engage in those behaviors. Jot down avoidance strategies you have done in the past to avoid possible success. Being aware is always the first step to overcoming.

Success is more complex than failure. There is an element of anxiety that can be attached to a more successful life. The more successful you become, the more visible you become. You’re more exposed to criticism. You may have to live with more pressure. You might worry about having to become a different person. Success requires change, but you can still be the same person. Someone that wants to lose weight will have to change their eating and exercise habits, but they are fundamentally the same person. There are changes to be made, but you’ll become an enhanced version of yourself.

Now let’s discuss ways to make you more comfortable with success.

  1. Have a vision of success that appeals to you. Are you afraid that massive success will result in a loss of free time? Build a vision of success that allows you to work on the beach for a few hours each day, or allows for more time with family and friends. Success won’t happen if your vision of success is unappealing. What is your ideal version of success?

  2. Enjoy the process. Success can seem like a lot of work. If you view the work as

misery, no success will be attractive enough to motivate you. Find a way to enjoy the process of becoming successful. You might choose to value what you’ll learn or the people you meet along the way. Sometimes, it’s just the adventure in finding the right path.

3. Create a vision for a successful life. Throw caution to the wind and don’t worry about being practical. Keep making alterations until it’s as positive and exciting as you can stand. Write it down or create a vision board if you are more visual.

Avoid underestimating how much your negative impressions of success can sabotage your future. Build a vision of success that motivates you to be successful. Eliminate the negative. Question your current beliefs and enjoy the success you deserve.


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