A fear of success almost sounds like an oxymoron, right? Who would be scared of being successful? When you’re a success, you have clients, or lose weight, or make more money – all good things! Who would be scared of it?
Trust me: The fear of success is real. I know because I combat it all the time.
The fear of success will stifle your growth, lead to self-sabotage, and make you feel like shit. And it’s often united with a fear of failure, stopping your every move.
In this week’s mindset lesson, I will talk to you about my battles with the fear of success and how I combat it, plus I’ve included journal prompts to help you recognize your own fear of success. Please keep reading!
A fear of success is rooted in old stories, often from your childhood, about how success will change your life.
For me, the fear of success initially manifested in two ways:
- Worrying if people will treat me differently
- Worrying that I’ll screw it up (so how it pared with my fear of failure?)
I mulled these worries over, and realized that my fear of success went much deeper. Specially, it was a reflection on my entrepreneurial grandparents and how they managed their business.
My grandparents’ success
My grandparents owned a mobile home park in Florida. They did everything – from clearing the land to wiring the trailers’ electricity, to cleaning out the trailers once tenants left and handling the finances. They worked hard, including on the weekends. While they experienced great financial success, I remember my grandmother’s hands bleeding from scrubbing floors and the sweat on my grandpa’s forehead from working in the Florida sun.
My grandparents’ entrepreneurial story fixed into my head as, “In order to be a success, you’ll have to work your fingers to the bone and have no time for yourself.”
Busting through my Fear of Success
To be sure, I want to be a success, but not to the detriment of my downtime, playtime, or body.
I realized that I was equating success to what my grandparents experienced – without considering that success could be different for me.
I began to visualize how my success would look (reminding myself that my grandparents’ success story is not my success story).
I journaled about what my “perfect day” looked like as an entrepreneur. I could visualize how I would serve my clients while enjoying time to exercise, play with my dog, write, nap, and read.
And when my Ego blasted the “if you’ll succeed, your time will not be your own” song in my head, and I said, “thank you, but that’s not how it will be for me.”
I then repeat my favorite affirmation (“it is safe for me grow”), and I continue to envision success on my terms.
Once I did this work, success started to come in the form of more clients, revenue streams, and creative ideas – all while not sacrificing my time, energy, or resources.
Could a fear of success be stopping you? I invite you to explore this idea through your favorite modality, such as EFT, Psych-K facilitation, meditation, journaling, or mentorship. Whatever means you choose, please get the bottom of it.
It’s okay to be afraid of succeeding (I think it’s more normal than not). Acknowledging your fear is half the battle. Once you recognize it, you can get bust through this fear and embrace your success.
I can’t wait to see you succeed even more!
Ready to get started now? Grab your journal and answer these prompts:
- What does your perfect day look like (remembering that money, time, and energy are not obstacles)?
- How you do define success?
- List all your fears surrounding your success, no matter how small or inconsequential. Are these fears real? How can you overcome them?
- What affirmations can you create to help you overcome your fear of success?