10 Sure-Fire Ways To Conquer The Fear Of Success

Fear of Success

When I was in elementary school, I played in a tetherball competition with the girls in my 5th grade class.

After beating several other girls, I was paired with the most popular girl in the class. All of the kids were standing around us watching our match, and I was ahead for most of the game.

It was thrilling to be kicking the butt of the most popular girl, especially since I wasn't much of an athlete.

But as the match went on, all of our classmates started cheering for my opponent. Every time she scored, there was wild enthusiasm. When I scored, there was silence.

So I threw the game -- I purposely messed up to allow her to score the winning point.

At the time, I wasn't conscious of my reasons for purposely losing. It was a quick decision, but a decision triggered by an accumulation of experiences and beliefs about myself.

I was afraid of succeeding because . . .

  • I would have undermined the social hierarchy in our class -- the popular girl is supposed to win.
  • I wasn't a natural athlete, so if I won, I'd be challenging the perceptions of all of my classmates.
  • Maybe I was more athletic than I believed, and by winning, I'd have to challenge my own beliefs about myself.

These things didn't run through my brain in the moment, but in retrospect, I see how my fear of success was fueled by a fear of rejection, shame, and discomfort.

I didn't want to tinker with the status quo.

Have you ever had an experience where you sabotaged your own success, even when you longed to be successful?

It's a strange and disconcerting situation in which to find yourself. On the one hand you dream of accomplishment and glory. On the other, you overtly or passively subvert your every effort.

Why do we have a fear of success? Here are a few of the reasons:

Fear Of Failure: 7 Ways To Get Unstuck And Take Action

fear of failure

Ask yourself: what is standing in the way of finding your passion, reaching your goals, and living your dream? Maybe your immediate answer is money, time, confusion, lack of skills, or low motivation. But if you’re really honest with yourself, it all boils down to fear. Fear of failure. Fear of loss. Fear of rejection….  Continue Reading

7 Ways To Be A Good Listener

How to Be A Good Listener

Think about how powerful it is to be heard. In fact, reflect on an occasion when you had something to say, something important or vulnerable to share, and you knew you had the full attention of the other person. That level of attention, when you know the other person is really listening to you, makes you…  Continue Reading

Overcoming Self-Doubt: How To Believe In Yourself To Accomplish More

Overcoming Self-Doubt

A guest post by Sarah Peterson Have you ever had a dream, desire, or idea that you wrote off because you didn’t believe that you could accomplish it? I have. This was my mantra of early 2014: “Nobody knows who I am. I don’t have an Ivy League education. I’ve never done anything exceptional. Who…  Continue Reading

How Not To Care What People Think

how to not care what people think

I sat in my office crying my eyes out. I’d just received a letter from the assistant to the editor of a local Atlanta publication I’d pitched for a story about one of my clients. It wasn’t really a letter. It was a copy of my pitch with comments and edits written all over it….  Continue Reading

Fear Of Failure: 4 Steps To Tame It And Use It For Success

fear of failure

A guest post by James Johnson Failure. After spiders and heights, it’s the most common fear in the world. It’s big, it’s scary, and it’s the elephant in the room with all of your new ventures and life challenges. Truth be told? You’re not alone. Nobody enjoys failure. It’s a painful experience we resist with…  Continue Reading

Be Bold! 20 Ways To Bust Through Your Comfort Zone

Be Bold

Every single big positive change in my life — the kind of change that propelled me to the next level of growth and upgraded my life  significantly — has come at a cost. The cost was my sense of comfort and security for a period of time. Everything I’ve accomplished personally and professionally was prefaced…  Continue Reading

Live Fearlessly: 3 Ways To Be Brave

Live Fearlessly

“Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live. Maybe one of these days you can let the light in. Show me how big your brave is.” ~Sarah Bareilles A guest post by Jennifer Niles My theme song lately is Brave by Sara Bareilles. You can watch a video of it here. I personally can’t help…  Continue Reading

Your Strengths and Weaknesses: Where Should You Focus?

One of the main reasons we have a hard time creating the happy, passionate life we desire is because we are so highly-focused on our weaknesses and how we’ve screwed up in the past. Failing, doing something poorly, being chastised for messing up, seeing others perform far better than we have — all of these…  Continue Reading

How I Overcame A Huge Limiting Belief By Running

Over the last four years, I have overcome a number of limiting beliefs about myself. I didn’t believe I had what it takes to go back to school to get my coaching certification. But I did it and became a coach. I didn’t think people would take me seriously as a coach and I’d never…  Continue Reading

Find Your Passion With Something You Hate

There’s something I used to hate that I now feel passionate about. I thought I would never even tolerate this something, much less feel passionate about it. Although I knew it would be good for me, and even though I tried to like it more times than I can count, I simply hated it. I…  Continue Reading

A Little 3-Step Guide To Overcoming Fear

“Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed.” ~Michael Pritchard For too much of my life, fear held me back. Fear of abandonment. Fear of looking bad. Fear of taking risks. Fear that I might get hurt. Fear that things would turn out badly. Fear that people would see (and dislike) the “real” me….  Continue Reading

Fear Free

“Jump and a net will appear.” ~Sally Hogshead Are you afraid of something? If you are, you probably aren’t — afraid of something. Whatever you are afraid of probably doesn’t exist. I could end this post now, and it would be life changing if you embrace the truth that the something doesn’t exist. More than…  Continue Reading

How to be Fearless in Everything

Fear. It’s the number one barrier to living confidently. You experience it everyday in small and large doses. You don’t do something you want to do because you are afraid. You do something you don’t want to do because you are afraid. Fear is the little demon that sits on our shoulders, holding us back…  Continue Reading