Fear of Success and how to overcome it

Fear of success may seem like a bogus idea. I mean why would we fear something that we want, and we all want to be successful don’t we?

Well, most of us do, but that doesn’t mean that the idea of success can’t be scary at the same time.

Most people can accept that the fear of failure is a common barrier that prevents us from taking chances, pursuing our dreams, and attaining success, but the truth is that fear of success can be a much more powerful deterrent, and stems from a number of causes.

Fear of success bringing discomfort

To achieve success, it is very likely that you will need to do things that are unfamiliar, and to engage in behavior that feels strange or even risky. Taking the chance of trying something new may feel daunting, and takes you out of your comfort zone.

This fear of the unfamiliar is definitely one of the factors that can lead to a fear of success. If success requires the courage of breaking free of old habits, this is enough for many of us to feel some trepidation about success and what it entails.


It is ironic that sometimes people actually find that the moment when they “fail” and then stop the unfamiliar effort of what they have been trying to do, they feel relief as much as disappointment.

In fact, they may even feel like they can let themselves off the hook permanently in regard to pursuing that dream. They can claim they have tried and it didn’t work for them.

what if i can't adapt to success habits?

Part of the fear of success is the fear of having to adapt to new habits, behaviors and beliefs, which we know, almost instinctively, will feel uncomfortable for at least a while.

We may fear the effort of practicing these new habits, and we may also fear that we will be incapable of adapting to them and sustaining them.

It may be more accurate to say that we have a greater fear of our own inability to apply perseverance than we have of failing.


Fear of success may also be rooted in a fear that in order to succeed, we must change in ways that we don’t want to change.

We might believe that being successful requires a cold-heartedness or lack of authenticity that we feel goes against our true nature and the person that we want to be.

We may also feel that success requires sacrifice, and be reluctant to trade our freedom or whatever else we believe we must give up in order to experience success.


The beliefs I just mentioned are beliefs that have no validity, and hold us back from a successful life. They are also beliefs that we can choose to change.

It is totally possible to be loving, generous, genuine and to have balance and freedom as well as being hugely successful.

Find some people who model this reality, and use them as an example that what you want is possible, and that letting go of your fear of success need in no way compromise your ideals and values.

Affirmations are also a great way of developing new beliefs to replace limiting ones. Try some like “I allow success and balance to exist harmoniously in my life,” or “Success will be a good and natural result of allowing myself to be joyful and creative and loving in all areas of my life.”


Fear of success sometimes stems from the idea that we will be unable to keep up what we perceive will be an increased level of responsibility.

This is not necessarily the case, and as with all things, our thoughts shape our reality.

If we believe that success means hard work, then this is the only type of success that we will be able to attract into our lives. (If we don’t block it altogether by feeling that the success is not worth the hard work we believe it will entail).

If we create and nurture the belief that success can be a free-flowing, fun and easy experience of life with the cooperation of all around us and the Universe itself, then we will be in the position of being able to allow this kind of true and enjoyable form of success to enter our lives.

We will also be able to let go of any fear of success if we can begin to believe that success can feel good in all ways.

will success change my relationships?

We may believe that our success would cause the people in our lives to feel differently towards us; either by becoming jealous and resentful, or by feeling somehow that their relationship to us has changed.

It is a very real fact that all changes within the life of one person require adjustment not only for that person, but for those around them.

Often if we work at coming into alignment with ourselves, our increasing success, and the way we want our relationships to evolve, the people in our lives will follow suit.

navigating these changes

When we believe something completely, it can become true in our lives, so if we believe that the people around us will be supportive and loving as we move towards our goals, then this can be our reality.

This may mean that there are some people who will move out of our lives, because they are unwilling or unable to match our vision of our relationship with them, but this is likely to be a minority. Especially with our key relationships, there is usually enough common ground that with strong focus and desire, the people involved are able to keep pace with the shifting energy and the positive expectations we hold.

It is also very often the case that as we allow ourselves to experience success, along with support and balance, those around us begin to mirror more of this in their own lives, too.

From this perspective, it becomes clear that finding the courage to overcome our fear of success is not only beneficial in terms of being able to allow ourselves to live increasingly fulfilling lives, but also in being able to lead others in our lives by example into greater success and satisfaction as well.

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