What if the thing that is holding you back is not fear of failure? What if you are actually afraid to succeed?
This was a question that was put to me by during a subconscious belief change course a few years back. My immediate response was “what an absolutely ridiculous theory!”. Why would anyone be scared of success?
Turns out my instructor was bang on the money. The belief was multi-dimensional, “It is unsafe for me to succeed” was a lot stronger and more deeply ingrained in my subconscious than the fear of failure. It’s an interesting concept that has so many wide and far reaching consequences.
How does fear of success lead to failure?
Unless the programming is recognised and changed, fear of success will lead to failure every time. We employ avoidance techniques to prevent success such as;
- Self Sabotage
- Lack of Motivation
- Self Destructive Behaviours
- Having Low Expectations
- Inability to complete projects
- Giving up when the finish line is in sight
These behaviours can result in tension, anger, frustration and self-loathing. It also causes stress, so much stress. Fear of success is deeply rooted in our psyche and a universal phenomenon.
Why are we so afraid of success?
Your beliefs and programs are formed as a result of what you see and hear before the age of 7 years old. I hope you will forgive the generalisation but society does not often mirror or reflect behaviours that are conducive to success and achievement. Maybe you will recognise some of these beliefs;
- Tall Poppy Syndrome – this is a common phenomenon in many modern societies. We support and cheer for our unlikely hero until she or he succeeds and then we like to ‘metaphorically’ chop their legs out from under them. As a success they are perceived as being better than others, or too big for their boots. It’s almost sportslike to try prove that the person who has succeeded, is in fact no better than anyone else.
- Self Promotion and Bragging show a lack of humility and nobility – children learn from an early age that hard work leads to success and achievement. However, if you do succeed it is considered unseemly to be proud and accept praise for your hard work. As a result we learn to be uncomfortable in the spotlight of success.
- Success and Achievement leads to unhappiness – Achieving your goals will more often than not bring social and emotional isolation. After all, no one who achieves success can be truly happy and fulfilled. Success can alienate you from your peers because no one likes to have their own failings magnified in the glow of anothers success.
- Imposter Syndrome – a lack of self worth and fear that everyone will discover that you are really a fraud.
- Success has too many negative consequences – it is often associated with the idea of making sacrifices and Loss. Loss of privacy. Loss of peace. Loss of family and friends. Loss of yourself and your identity.
- Fear of Backlash – potential familial, social and relationship repercussions.
What are the Impacts of Fear of Success?
The negative impacts associated with a limiting self belief such as fear of success are long and extensive;. Here are just a few;
- Difficulty pursuing goals
- Lower Life Satisfaction
- Reduced Self-Esteem
- Not being able to meet expectations
- Anger, frustration and feelings of hopelessness
- Being overtly critical and judgemental towards others
- Increased feelings of self-loathing
- Lower expecatations
- Stress and anxiety
How do we overcome a fear of success?
It’s time for a change! A change of beliefs, a change of programming, a change of attitudes. Success can be applauded and beautiful. There is enough success to go around. First things first it’s time to acknowledge and accept that you may be more afraid to success, than fail. Self awareness is beautiful and powerful.
Be kind to yourself! There is no more room for negative self talk and criticism. Healing requires an honest look at your feelings and behaviours. With generosity and compassion investigate the underlying issues and beliefs.
Journalling can help you to recognise avoidance patterns and negative behaviours that you maybe using to protect yourself. Writing things down can often help to unravel the journey and offer clarity and perspective.
Face the Fear and at the same time recognise that you have a choice. There is nothing that has to happen until you are ready for change.
Learning techniques to manage and reduce stress and anxiety. There are many stress reduction techniques such a Modern EFT, Emotion Code, Reiki. Find a type of therapy that will give you the tools to step out of the stress spiral and take you to a place of alignment and peace. In that space healing can occur.
Find a therapist to facilitate positive subconscious belief change. Changing the negative programs and creating new life enhancing positive beliefs will set you on a path to healing and success.
When you are ready I offer many treatments and therapies in my practice My Innate Vitality. I can facilitated and guide you through your healing journey of discovery, positive change and ultimately, SUCCESS. Change your Beliefs, Change your Life!