6 Clear Signs You Fear Success And How To Overcome It


It is normal to fear failure. When we try to avoid ridicule, embarrassment, or a blow to the ego, we act in predictable and unhelpful ways. No one really wants to fail, but failure is inevitable when you aim high. The lessons include growth, so learning to love it will serve any entrepreneur well.

Fear of success is another beast, one you may not realize you have. Fear of success is the worry that once we achieve something, there may be suffering involved. If you sabotage your efforts for no apparent reason, if you keep yourself small no matter how much you dream big, and if you can’t seem to shake those old habits and thought patterns, this fear can hold you back.

Why should anyone be afraid of success? What’s scary about fame, fortune and fun on new levels? Your conscious mind can explain all the benefits, but your subconscious mind may be terrified of them coming to fruition.

Maybe you’re afraid you can’t handle it: the money, the attention, the influx of questions. You may fear losing yourself to your ego, not enjoying the spotlight or the inevitable criticism, changing too much, or losing a few friends. Are you afraid that you will have to work too much, find out that you are not as good as you hoped, or face setbacks?

Consciously or unconsciously, these fears influence your actions. Here are six obvious signs you fear success and how to overcome them.


You avoid hiring

Deep down you know that with the right people in the right seats you can remove all bottlenecks in your company. You, as the owner, are probably the biggest bottleneck. Your duties can be done by someone else, but you avoid hiring them. You come up with multiple reasons why someone else isn’t doing well. You say you don’t want to manage people or be bothered by more suppliers. You test the waters but don’t fully commit to training people enough, or you discover problems in the service, then take back responsibility and declare that no one can do things as well as you.

This is a sign that you are afraid of success. As long as you stick to your duties and do the busy work, you can’t possibly move to the next level. Your fear puts a ceiling on you and makes excuses why you can’t get out. It wants you to stay in, stay focused and get on with the small roles so you never get access to the big ones. When the hours of the work week are up and showing you nothing but the status quo, you’re within your comfort zone and safe from the danger that success can bring.

There’s no denying that working more at the top level and less in the details will grow your business, so stop avoiding the role.

You don’t spend money

Spending money is a privilege you don’t use. Money can buy time and output. Money spent properly can bring trials and users and customers that last forever. Money can bring awareness and clicks and website traffic. Money can free up the time you would have spent fixing your own car or loading your own dishwasher. But your fear of success wants you to be slow, busy, inexperienced and invisible. That keeps your business small.

If you fear success, you avoid spending money. You have developed a scarcity mentality and you align yourself with frugal values ​​that you are now proud of. You ignore ways to access cash and you think it’s scarce. You take on the personality of a cheapskate and are always trying to find discounts or save a few bucks here and there. You sweat the pennies without chasing the kilos. Limiting beliefs around money hold back many entrepreneurs.

Think of spending as investing and turn your thinking around. Instead of waiting until you have the money to spend it, invest to earn more. Think of spending cash as something you ‘get’ to do, not ‘have’ to do. Act accordingly and you will reap what you sow.

You don’t explore new ideas

If you’re not exploring new ideas, it could be a sign that you’re afraid of success. Stuck in your ways, you prefer the safe known to the potentially prosperous unknown. You are not convinced that what you are doing now will lead to anything impressive, but you continue anyway under the guise of focus and determination. You ignore new technology and only adapt when necessary. You dismiss inventions as hype and shut down completely.

Speculate to accumulate. Going down rabbit holes of research can generate ideas for improvement and new groups of customers. One concept from a book, one method from a YouTube video, one insight from a friend with experience, and your business can completely change its course. But your anxious mind wants to shut down this input and go back to what is familiar, because it knows that no great, scary feat can be accomplished that way.

Rapid advancements in technology mean that exploring new ideas is not only essential for growth, it is essential to stay still. Even if you don’t want to make progress, don’t let yourself go backwards.

You close suggestions

If people you trust want to give you suggestions, but you find yourself shutting them down, it could be a sign that you fear success. Friends and networks have cool ideas about where you could take your products or services, but you reply with reasons why they probably won’t work. You won’t try. You will not cherish their proposals. Is your fear of expansion masquerading as limiting beliefs?

What if you follow their advice? What if you made a few edits and the opportunities rolled in? Then you should show up, figure things out and take on new challenges. This is a daunting prospect for someone who secretly desires normalcy and a quiet, comfortable life. Being open to suggestions means hearing people. You don’t have to take any action, but at least listen. When you start seeing that exponential growth, you have people to celebrate with.

Instead of avoiding the suggestions, consider their impact. See what happens when you try a few things.

You don’t ask for help

You think you have all the answers you need to run your business well, so you go ahead with what you know. You don’t have a coach, you don’t get guided, you don’t ask mentors for advice. There are people all around you, but you avoid asking them for help. They may be too busy, they may think you are taking liberties, they may not want to talk about work. You say that to avoid getting their opinion.

If there are people in your network who have had the success you think you want, but you don’t get their advice, this is a clear signal that you fear success. You could get the answers so easily, but something is holding you back. You may be asking for help, but asking too late. Your plan has already failed, and that may be what you really wanted. Procrastination (before asking for help) or self-handicap (by not asking for everything at once) are clear signs of sabotage.

Mimicking proven strategies could work very well, but something is holding you back from moving forward. Find out what and find out why.

You are avoiding responsibility

You could give your name to new experiences, but you shy away from it. You could take on more responsibility, but you avoid the limelight. You could ask the question, ask for the chance to prove yourself and get your art out there, but something is holding you back. You know you’re capable and you know your work makes a difference, but you’re afraid to prove it. That would mean you have to change.

If your business was booming, if people were rushing in to work with you, you would have no excuse for not growing. But maybe you want the excuse. You are content to carry along, get by on the bare minimum. You only have a few hours of client work and you convince yourself that’s a good thing. More responsibility has both disadvantages and advantages, and you blow up the problems. If people knew how good you were, you’d be a billionaire. So why not let them know?

Take on more than you think you can handle and discover how capable you could be. Remember that you can stop at any time.

There are six signs that you fear success that you may not have realized until now. By not hiring people, spending money, or taking responsibility, you stay within the realm of comfort. Not taking advice, asking for help, or exploring new ideas cuts you off from outside input that could change your game. Recognize when the signs show up that you fear success so you can investigate what’s behind it. What’s the worst that could happen, and wouldn’t the benefits outweigh the drawbacks?