Are you a constant great performer, but unable to reach the goal you've envisioned? You may be putting in all your effort, and success still feels like a faraway dream. While you aren't really upset about your current success, you aren't happy either.
The reason you're feeling this way could be the fear of success, also known as Achievemephobia. Sounds unusual? It still exists, though, and exists widely. So, let's get a closer look at it.
Type of Fear of Success
1. Fear of Rejection & Failure
Many individuals strive towards doing only as much, so they don't fall under the radar of being rejected or refused. For them, fear of failure & rejection runs strong and stops them from succeeding or going the extra mile.
2. Fear of Judgment & Embarrassment
It isn't uncommon to witness people lying or molding truths about their success to be accepted by society. Individuals with a fear of judgment and embarrassment choose to succeed in a manner that doesn't make them look showy or egoist. They know they can achieve more, but do not wish to do so.
3. Fear of Losing it All
"What if I work so hard and yet lose it all." People who fear losing their success, wealth, or fame are often controlled by the notion that they shouldn't work this hard because, eventually, they might lose everything.
4. Fear of Change
Worrying about changes in one's life can cause one to underperform. For many, change isn't exactly in their comfort zone. This is why they fear that they won't be able to cope with it and instead seek half-hearted success that keeps them in their comfort zone.
Related: 5 Principles for Dealing with Change
5. Fear of Not Being Good Enough
This fear stands on the foundation of not being good enough to succeed. These individuals are doubtful of their skills and talents, which have them questioning,
"Do I even deserve this success?"
"What if I am not capable enough to handle success?"
Mostly they also battle with fear of expectations; they believe they will be unable to deliver what is expected of them.
Reasons You Might Have a Fear of Success
1. Childhood Experiences
Many individuals afraid to flourish and succeed were kids with disappointing encounters with success or successful people.
As a child, if any event associated with being successful had a negative aspect, that belief has probably stuck in your mindset and continues to manifest in your life.
For instance, if, as a child, you were always among kids who either paraded on your vision of success or if you saw thriving people in a negative light, chances are these events still control your approach towards success subconsciously.
2. A Fixed Mindset
Another reason you might be afraid of success is your pessimistic perspective towards it. Maybe you believe that:
➔ Success isn't for everyone; it definitely isn't for me.
➔ Success means forsaking my family and personal time.
➔ To be successful means I have to deal with bad people.
Such unfavorable beliefs can hold you back, and you find yourself only doing the bare minimum that doesn't question these beliefs.
3. Fear of Stereotypes and Bias
If you are afraid of the social backlash that comes with self-promotion, you will do the opposite and avoid it. The social backlash comes from fitting in.
We all want to be accepted and liked, so we tend to conform to the norms of society and avoid doing things that may make us stand out as individuals. Unfortunately, this may also cause a clash between values or beliefs.
Why is it Important to Overcome it?
- To bring your vision to reality: Letting go of fear is imperative, as it stops you from fulfilling your lifelong goals.
- To release apprehensions: Fear feeds on your worries and amplifies them. To succeed and live a happy life, your fear must be addressed and overcome.
- To find your authenticity: Success will help you meet a new version of yourself that may be more artistic, empathetic, or passionate. Overcoming fear will help you unfold your hidden abilities.
- To strengthen your skills: Fear keeps you from working on your skills and talents, whereas success refines them and offers opportunities to build on them.
Overcoming Fear of Success
1. Address Them to Heal Them
It is crucial to acknowledge your fears in a positive light, to begin with, healing. An easy way is to list your beliefs holding you back and then write the fear you feel corresponding to that belief.
Belief: I don't feel capable enough to take this job.
Fear: My colleagues will find out I am not skilled enough, and I might lose my job.
How to improve it: Improve my skills by taking courses or speaking to a mentor. Work on my self-confidence.
2. Find Your Power & Passion
Ask yourself what things make you fearless. Spend time finding your purpose, passion, and work that gives you the power to push through fear. Try and understand what scares you and what doesn't. Ask yourself what activities, projects, and things provide you with energy?
3. Keep Learning and Experimenting
There's no limit to your willingness to learn, and as you educate yourself further, you will see that your fears don't hold much power over you, and maybe some of them are too irrational. Improving your skills and gaining experiences and knowledge will give you a strong arsenal against fear.
4. Have a Success Box
A success box will contain all the memories that made you proud of yourself and your achievements. In moments of fear and self-doubt, you can return to this box to feel good and find inspiration to keep moving forward despite your fears. You can save pictures of awards, words of encouragement from your colleagues, or any achievement that made you smile.
Fear of Success and failure both exist. But fortunately, you can deal with them.
When you decide to hold the steering wheel of your life, your fears will naturally take a backseat. So, remember to go easy on yourself and be curious about your fears, where they come from, and how you can turn fears into fabulous opportunities.