We all want to reach our goals right? Sure. But for some of us, the thought of achieving success is just as scary as the thought of failure. If you're plagued by self-doubt and anxiety when things are going well, you might be suffering from fear of success.
When you're used to struggling, it can be hard to adjust to the good times. When things are going well, you might feel like you're in uncharted territory—and that can be scary. On top of that, you might feel pressure to maintain your high standards. The fear of not being able to live up to your own expectations is a common cause of fear of success, among other things like; past failures, fear of the unknown, fear of change, or a lack of self-confidence.
Having big dreams and aspirations is exciting, but for many, there's a lurking fear that success could actually be their downfall. It's a real phenomenon that holds people back from giving their all and achieving great things. While we hear a lot about how to overcome fear of failure, fear of success is just as important to tackle. Ignoring it could mean missing out on opportunities that could completely transform your life. Let's explore some of the ways we can overcome this.
Lay your fears out where you can see them.
If you get some time, think about the specific things you're afraid of as it pertains to success. List them, write them down, or break them down into points to allow you to take a really good look at the particulars.
Once you've done that, acknowledge the worst case scenarios you feel await you on the other side of success and think about a possible solution for each point.
The more you practice this, i.e; honing in on specific areas that scare the crap out of you and thinking about possible solutions - the more you are actually preparing yourself for potential eventualities; whether it feels like it or not. A lot of times, as humans, we catastrophise things. This is often referred to as 'second darting' - where we predict the absolute worst and start stressing about things that haven't even happened (and maybe never will.)
Take smaller steps.
Take things at your own pace, one thing at a time (although I appreciate this can be difficult for my fellow neurodivergent people.)
Maybe try out this formula and see how you go:
- 1 huge goal for the year
- 2 smaller goals for 6 months
- 3-4 targets per month
- 1-2 small tasks each working day.
Overwhelm can have a monstrous impact on those brewing feelings of fear, so taking smaller steps ensures you can work through each issue carefully and individually instead of trying to tackle absolutely everything at once, stressing yourself out in the process.