Who the heck would fear success, it’s like avoiding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow because you’re afraid a leprechaun will come out and bite you. It may sound like a weird fear to possess, but fear of success is something that stops a lot of people from going after their dreams and reaching their financial potential.
This is one that actually hits close to me, so I ask: have you ever worked your butt off on a project, finished about 90% of it, then decided to quit because you’re not sure you actually want the success? Are you uncomfortable with the lifestyle shift or possibly feel that you don’t deserve to be successful? Let’s examine the idea and find the best way to combat that biting leprechaun while we’re at it.
Why do we fear success?
I honestly believe that we fear success because it means change. As creatures of habit change is scary and could result in a whole new way of life. It could also mean more responsibility or stress because of our success. In my previous post I talked about having rich versus poor friends; If there is a correlation, which several people thought there might be, this means not only your wallet will change, but even your social circle. It may be harder to relate to friends and family because of a shift in perspective due to your success.
What happens when we become a success?
When you become successful in whatever arena you’re shooting for something happens. You become a leader and you gain the responsibility that comes with being the best, being the strongest, and being the one those who aren’t successful (yet) look towards for guidance. Some people really don’t want to be leaders, but they want to be a success. Can you have one without the other? When we become successful we embrace the ideas and beliefs we’ve created in our minds and convert them to reality, but this reality has side effects.
How to overcome this fear
Before you start any endeavor you have to foresee the events that come with that choice. If you’re not okay with performing in front of 60,000 people every Sunday, don’t become a pro athlete. If you’re not okay with high risk situations and having others shoot at you, don’t become a fighter pilot.
You also have to feel like you deserve to be successful. If you don’t feel you deserve it you will often sabotage yourself by living a self fulfilling prophecy iterated by thinking:
“I can’t because I’m not good enough and I don’t deserve it.”
I often wonder who am I to have people listen to me, or who am I to have wealth come into my life, I’m convinced that many ask the same questions because it almost becomes a burden to be successful because there is so much associated with it. Realize the work you’ve put in compared to others, the sacrifices you’ve made, and accept that you’re just as deserving as anyone else to be a success.
My Fear of Success
This blog was started for fun, because I enjoy writing, and I enjoy being a sarcastic guy that can relate personal finance to seemingly anything. Writing is fun, talking about money is fun, and talking with you fine folks is fun. So when does it stop becoming fun?
For me it stops being fun when there becomes more responsibility and it becomes something that I have to do, not just because I want to do it. I often find that I sabotage myself even in relation to this blog. For me success in one realm of my life often means you have to commit to it through thick and thin (via persistence, which one of the best qualities you can have). This stick-to-it-ive-ness is something that means you’ve made your choice and you’re going to follow through it rain or shine. For me, this commitment is pretty darn scary, because what if it’s the wrong choice?
I don’t like being in the spotlight, I don’t like commitment, and I don’t want to tie myself down to a particular idea, person, or even geographic area. However, success may require it, and I may simply have to face my fears. I may have to take one for the team and be a success 😉
Do you have a fear of success?
How have you overcome your fear of success?
Image from tsk