Do you Fear… Success?




Those who say life is knocking them down

and giving them a tough time

are usually the first

to beat themselves up.

Be on your own side.

Rasheed Ogunlaru


Are you a person who embraces success? Do you envision yourself with health, wealth, and other abundance? In going after your hopes and desires, you may be surprised to find an underlying fear of success. If you continually find yourself achieving only small, fleeting successes, but the great things you feel that you deserve always seem to be just out of reach, you may be the victim of your own fear of success.

Your fear of success may be difficult to identify and understand because the causes are frequently hidden away from our conscious awareness. This fear may be lurking in your subconscious and you never even discover that this challenge exists within you without some real probing.

Yet, this fear can cause you to sabotage the very pursuit of your most cherished dreams. So, how do you find out if your actions are motivated by fear of success?


Is a Fear of Success Sabotaging You?

Think of a goal that you would like to achieve. Then, take 20-30 minutes and answer the following question: “What will happen if I succeed?” Write down everything you can think of. Write out the good and bad consequences of achieving your goal.

It is important to take at least 20 minutes to answer the question. Your initial answers are likely to be superficial. Simply keep writing for at least 20 minutes. Put down everything that comes into your mind. Nothing is too silly or too small. If, after 20 minutes, you are still pouring out good stuff, then keep on going.

Let us say, for instance, that your goal is to make $250,000 this year. You might include items such as:

  • I will be able to pay all my bills.
  • I can purchase a new car.
  • I can go on a vacation.
  • I will have to pay a lot in taxes.
  • My brother/ sister/ cousin/ whoever will want a loan.
  • I won’t know what to do with the money after I have it.
  • People will treat me differently.
  • I should get a new house. But where would I live?
  • My significant other will try to spend it all.
  • I will probably just lose it or invest it poorly.

In your excitement, you will quickly write down some of the things you have always wanted to buy, and, once you have the money, you will be able to do that. But then, as you delve further into all your feelings about achieving your goal, some of the not-so-positive consequences of your achievement will begin to appear on your page.

Some of these consequences may reveal things you fear happening if you actually achieved your goal.

Goals are never completely free of fear. Achievement always involves change, and all change involves some apprehension. You might truly desire to be successful, but if the feelings of fear due to the changes outweigh the positive feelings in your mind, progress will be slow and very challenging.


How to Eliminate Your Fear of Success

If you can make yourself aware of your apprehensions, you have the opportunity to attack each of them and eliminate them, or at the very least, minimize them so that you can make progress.

Looking directly at these fears is very powerful. Fears that are not acknowledged tend to grow stronger. Fears that are examined tend to be minimized. And, this will help you to take aggressive action towards the completion of a goal.

Ultimately, if you look closely at your fears, you will see that the perceived side effects are what often seems scariest when pursing goals. Before you give up on your plans, ask yourself what would happen if you were ultimately successful.

Look your fears the face, seek to understand them, and you can begin your journey on the road to achieving your dreams today!


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About Martina

Martina McGowan has a passion for helping people find their way forward. This she does as a physician, writer, mother, grandmother, coach, minister, blogger, speaker, and working with the prosecutor's office for the conviction of people involved in the sexual assault and abuse of children. She is a life-long student of human behavior, and a teacher of deep listening. It is by listening, and hearing each other's hearts that we are able to help them heal, and thereby help heal ourselves.


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