Freedom… independence… money… and fame. Reasons why you’ve always dreamed about becoming a successful entrepreneur, right? Fear of success was perhaps not even on your mind.
Then why do you feel like this dream of success is just a distant island over the horizon, which doesn’t get any closer, no matter how hard you’re struggling against the mighty waves of the ocean?
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. You were never supposed to have a fear of success.
What You Set Out To Do
You set out to create something new and valuable in this world, something that could impact others’ lives in a meaningful way. You wanted to become the next Richard Branson, the respected leader of a worldwide brand that everyone looks up to. Individuals like Branson avoided a fear of success with their endeavors like Virgin Galactic.
Yet you’re still struggling to make ends meet, constantly second guessing your actions and being afraid that you might lose at the end.
If you’re wondering if and when you’ll finally spot the light at the end of the tunnel, I have good news. Here’s why things aren’t going the way you expected, and what you need to do to fix them. It has alot to do with your fear of success and failure conversely than anything else.
How Your Fear of Success is Paralyzing Your Actions
The problem is letting your fear of failure and fear of success stop you from taking action.
Relax. This is a common problem that everyone’s struggling with, including the most successful entrepreneurs in the world. There are many ways it can manifest. Now, you know you have to overcome this fear of success to succeed. So, you decide to hold back and give into the fear of success.
You know that in order to succeed you should invest those thousand dollars into your business. But that little voice in your head, the voice of fear, the voice of anxiety, the voice of avoidance, always reminds you that if you fail, you will have just thrown all that money out the window. So you decide to hold back and give into the fear of success.
You know that you should call that high-profile CEO to ask for his or her help, but the voice of fear reminds you that they might reject your offer. So you decide to hold back and give into the fear of success.
So you decide to hold back and give into the fear of success again… and again… and again.
Soon, you must accept that you either need to face your fear of success or you’ll never achieve the goals you set yourself.
But how could you possibly conquer and ignore your fears when they have so much power over all of us? Can you stop self sabotage and ignore your fear of success?
What is Fear of Success
Fear of success is when you are afraid of what you might become. Or, in many cases, you are afraid of what others might think about your successes. Afraid, possibly, of the consequences of success. Fear of how success may affect your mental health. Or, perhaps, you have self doubt caused by past experiences that make you feel not good enough. Negative thoughts and thought patterns are self sabotaging. Image yourself in success. If you feel imposter syndrome in that image, you may be suffering from a fear of success.
Backlash avoidance is another topic many associate with the fear of success. You may be on the mission for success, but backlash avoidance can prevent you from preforming optimally! Studies have shown those acting with fear are preforming less optimally with those who believe in themselves. Remember, this is your life.
However, with self awareness, you can overcome this fear of success and live up to expectations of yourself. This article will try to spot these negative thought patterns that are holding you back.
The Best Way to Cope with Fear of Success
The first place and first step you need to do is realize you are assigning fear more power over you than it actually has., Just look around you: everyone is afraid of failure and fear of success. Some let it grow so deep within them that they find excuses everywhere and throw in the towel before even getting started. They never achieve their dreams or live up to their full potential. Guilt and avoidance in childhood caused patterns, feelings, and beliefs that continue to hold you back. They continue making you fear success.
Yet, what’s the basis of their fear, really? Heck, what’s the basis of any kind of fear, for that matter?
Relating to a Movie, how does it appear in our lives?
Well, if you saw Will Smith’s latest movie, After Earth, you know that fear doesn’t really exist, only in our thoughts. It’s merely an invisible force holding us back, made up by our own imagination. Here’s the exact quote from the movie:
“Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand me, danger is very real, but fear is a choice.”
Is Fear or Anxiety a Choice in Life?
You can talk and criticize the movie all you want, although personally I liked it very much, but you must admit that its message is true: fear really is a choice you can make. Fear being a choice may make you feel uncomfortable. But, if you process this fact and focus on how it makes you feel, you may be able to overcome your behaviors. If you realize and identify the problem, you can stop avoidance and start creating strategies to lead yourself out of fear.
And the sad reality is, thousands upon thousands of people give up their dreams and sink into shallow mediocrity, all because of this made-up nemesis that doesn’t even exist. Think about your childhood self and behaviors. Did you ever think the future you would self sabotage yourself from achieving your dreams? Being a team with yourself is the next step forward, avoiding all these negative thoughts. Move towards strategies that promote positive outcomes and work towards removing uncomfortable feelings around success.
Are you going to be one of them? Luckily, the choice is yours… It is your choice to choose the fear of success or the later.
How to Turn Your Fear of Failure into Your Best Ally
The very first step is to realize that you’re not alone: fear of failure paralyzes everyone who’s attempting to do something new and unpredictable. Believe it or not, that’s good news.
Since fear paralyzes almost everyone, it means that your fear of success also going to minimalize your competition. Even if there are people whose entrepreneurial skills are a lot better than yours, if all they do is wait at the sidelines doing nothing, while you do take action despite your fears and concerns, your chances of success increase dramatically. Many of us are afraid of success. Anxiety is a common trait among young adults, especially with the rise of social media.
Theodore Roosevelt’s Cure to Fear of Success May Help
As Theodor Roosevelt said:
“In any situation, the best thing you can do is the right thing; the next best thing you can do is the wrong thing; the worst thing you can do is nothing.”
In other words, all you have to do to achieve even your wildest dream is to go for it, keep trying and never give up. Since fear will get rid of most of the competition for you, there’s no need to fret the details. The rest will fall into place, if you just show up.
The Second Step
The second step to conquering fear is to realize that whenever you’re afraid of failure, it means that you’re about to do something great that can improve your life and the lives of those around you in a positive way. Otherwise you wouldn’t be afraid of messing things up, right?
In fact, if you aren’t scared, maybe that’s when you should worry and ask yourself, “Is what I’m doing even that important to me?”
So if anything, remember that your fear of failure is a signal that you’re doing something right.
How to Face Your Fears Every Time and Ensure Your Success? Be the Doer of Deeds, NOT the Critic.
Another very common fear people have when starting out as an entrepreneur is being criticized by others for their failures. Succeeding can be much about friends. How will your friends feel about you being in the spotlight? Do your friends provide confidence, or avoidance? How can you surround yourself with a person who has a love for life?
Another Quote from Theodore Roosevelt
This can be another huge force blocking you from going for your dreams, so here’s another quote from Theodore Roosevelt that will help you reverse this type of fear in a heartbeat, too:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
And what’s the worst case scenario if you become successful, anyway? Talk to others and see how they actually feel about you being successful. Or, look towards a therapist even. At the end of the day, if you can abolish the negative thought patterns that are causing this fear of success. You can prevent sabotage and guilt.
What Will You Find?
What you may find is that many of us will be rooting you on to the path of achievement. Your childhood self and expectations will be in joy for you actually trying. Let go of your fear of success and process what is present in your mind. Or else, the past and guilt may always haunt you. Many tend to suffer this way .
You can always get back up on your feet and start again with another idea or approach. As Edison said, every failure merely brings you one step close to success.
Will YOU Fear of Success to Fuel Success?
I hope you’re beginning to see how these simple mindset changes can help achieve your goals.
Success Comes from Destroying Anxiety
Put yourself in the spotlight and discover that anxiety has been the issue. The point of the article should be clear at this point. Success is not an easy thing to accomplish, but often times we make it harder when we establish a fear of success. Develop strategies to help eliminate anxiety in your life. Talk to a therapist or someone close about your feelings and fears. Start to lead yourself to positive outcomes. This may sound like rubbish. But, these actions are steps to self improvement – steps to improve in your life.
Fear of Success is Real and Anxiety is Real in the Same External Way
Fear is real and fear can do harm. Your fear of success manifests itself from the past into the present. Succeeding is all about an idea. Identify this idea and start working towards achievement that the childhood you wanted. Achieving is all about taking the first steps. Again, this may sound like a motivational speaker talking. But, sometimes success is about listening to the motivational speaker within you. And, taking control of your fear and anxiety.
Instead of Hiding
Instead of hiding from your fears, now you can use them to guide you in the right direction.
You can use them to push you through every obstacle you face.
And most importantly, you can let them inspire you to fight for your visions, leave the crowds behind, and rise above the mediocrity of the timid masses, who shall never know nor victory nor defeat.
Achieving and Overcoming – Conclusions
We fear success in life not because success is scary, but because of our thoughts. Success comes from us achieving what we fear. Push into anxiety, push into your fear of success, and see what actually happens. Lead into fear and I promise you will not suffer. For example, you can only overcome your fear of food by stopping avoidance. Or, in other words, eating the food! After you focus on your anxiety and talk to yourself correctly, fear of success may turn into a yesterday topic. Go out and do!
Author of Article
Steven Fabian is a young entrepreneur who’s helping both younger and more experienced online entrepreneurs turn their passions into viable businesses on the net.