Fear of Success

What is the Fear of Success

Road to SuccessThe fear of success is a mindset that many of us have that prevents us from moving forward and taking chances in life. It is a fear of the unknown. The fear of not knowing how to handle success. Many people search for financial success, but deep down they fear what financial success will bring. So in essences, we sometimes subconsciously undermine our progress through our deeply embedded fears.

As Hugh MacLeod pointed out, success is more complicated than failure. On some level, it is more comfortable to stay in a familiar situation, even if it doesn’t feel great on the surface. So achieving success is entering into uncharted waters. As I stated above, the unknown is very scary for many of us because it takes us out of our comfort zone.

Some of us stumble upon success and realize that success in nothing to fear. Once you achieve it, it is simple to deal with and doesn’t take a genius to obtain it or maintain it. Many successful people have achieved success not necessarily looking for it or expecting it but stumbling into it with a great idea or being in the right place at the right time. In situations like that, success has to be dealt with, and it is discovered it is not such a daunting task but a mindset.

How do you Overcome the Fear of Success

Never Give UpTo overcome the fear of success for those of us who haven’t been in the right place at the right time or haven’t come up with a great idea that just took off. What do we do? How can we achieve success? I am not a psychologist but a regular guy who has had a lot of life experience. So I am not talking on a clinical level but a one on one level with you. Taking my personal experiences and observations and sharing what I have discovered. The answer may seem rudimentary, but the fear of success is very simple.

  • Lack of Self-Confidence
  • Fear of Failure
  • Fear of the Unknow
  • Negative Attitude
  • The People that Surround Us

I will cover each of these hindrances to success as we continue. The first thing before we get into each topic is that success is not complicated. Success many times is mental, and we can control our mentality. This means that success is not for a chosen few but for anyone who can open their mind to the idea of success without fear of failure and without fear of success.

Lack of Self-Confidence

The funny thing about this topic is most of the things I am sharing with you are no secret. They are things you may already know or have already experienced. But the key is we many times don’t take the time to sit down and break down what is holding us back. Many of us rather make excuses and blame some outside force that is preventing us from success. We blame bad luck instead of bad planning. We are full of excuses and lack solutions.

Fear of SuccessBut the bottom line to any success is self-confidence. We have to believe in ourselves and our abilities. What we are striving to be successful in doesn’t matter. What is important is thinking we can achieve a level, no matter what it is, of success (success is personal, keep that in mind). We have to believe that there is nothing that can stop of from achieving our goals. We have to accept that there may be pitfalls and setbacks but that will not keep us from moving forward.

Most times our pitfalls are lessons that teach us what to avoid the next time. It is our on the job training that tells us that we made a mistake, now we have a chance to correct that mistake and move on. Of course, it is discouraging but don’t let it be the end. Let it be the new beginning. A point of learning and perfecting your process to success. No one in this world has attained successful without falling short a few times on their way to success. But if you are self-confident you can overcome any bump in the road and stay persistent.

Fear of Failure

Building a Website for your Business for FREEThe fear of failure is nature. Who wants to fail? No one of course but we all have failures in our lives, and it is just the way life is, we can’t change that fact. But we can change how we deal with failure. So many see failure as the end and quit and move in a different direction. But for the successful, failure is just the starting point. They understand that to succeed y0u must and will fail. Failure is not to fear but to learn.

If you can sit back and diagnose what went wrong, then you can fix it. There are times we can’t figure out what went wrong but that doesn’t mean to quit. It means to make adjustments and move forward. If you fail again, then you may start understanding what it is that you are doing wrong. Now you can fix it and move forward.

There are no limits to the failures we may experience on our way to success. It may be one, or it may be twenty but no matter the failures you have to maintain self-confidence and learn from each failure. Now I know there may be more involved than just a failed idea. There may be money involved. The money you have invested in this idea or endeavor may be exhausted, then what?

Money money money

Of course, when money is involved it gets more complicated. If you are on a set budget and you drain your budget what do you do? You have several options, but none of them are quitting. Defer your project until you get more financing or borrow money from friends or family. Depending on your project or idea you can search for a venture capitalist to invest in you. The point being, there are solutions if you search for them. Or you can just quit and accept failure. If you accept failure then don’t blame anyone but yourself because you had options, you just chose to be a quitter.

Fear of the Unknown

The fear of the unknown is different than the fear of failure. The fear of the unknown is you get afraid of success, and therefore you just abandoned your goal. A simple way of putting it is your talk yourself out of success. You allow your mind to wonder about all the problems success will bring you. You start thinking about taxes, banks accounts, how would you invest your money, who could you trust, can I manage employees, healthcare and you can go on and on and eventually scaring yourself out of success.

Fear of SuccessKeep in mind, everyone who has been successful has faced the same issues, and most have been able to deal with them. Bottom line, don’t cross the bridge until you get there. As you progress toward success, you will surround yourself with others with experience in everything you fear. They have dealt with the “unknown’ and will help you cope with growth.

So do not let the fear of the unknown stop you from success. You will be able to deal with all the so called obstacles as you reach them and there are so many resources available to help you, you will not have a problem adjusting to success. Instead of thinking of the unknown as a possible failure, think of it as a point of personal development and growth that will be invaluable, and once you learn to deal with it, it is something that can not be unlearned.

Negative Attitude

A negative attitude will defeat you every time. Your biggest wall to success is YOU! If you see the glass half Fear of Successempty and the negative to every situation, you will fail. Not just in success but in all aspects of your life. Not only does a negative attitude crush your dreams but it swallows up the people around you. It saps the energy away from anyone trying to help you succeed.

We have all experienced this, you’re in a room, and someone with a bad attitude walks in. Almost instantly you can literally feel the positive energy in the room just get sucked out like a vacuum cleaner. We all have experienced this and please don’t let that person be you. For me, that is one of the worst feelings I experience. My positive energy being sucked out of me by someone else. Most times it takes a few minutes to readjust and regain your positive energy.

If you are the one carrying this negative aura, you will infect everyone and everything around y0u. Success will be virtually impossible. Can you imagine someone trying to make a living at a motivational speaker and as soon as they walk in the room, they suck the positive energy from everyone? As you may imagine, they won’t be very successful and have a short career as a motivational speaker. That is an extreme example, but it makes my point very clear.

People who have a positive attitude will succeed if they continue to try. They will surround themselves with positive people and attract positive people to their projects. It may not be overnight, but a positive attitude will overcome any obstacle. A positive attitude is what makes you think of alternatives and make adjustments to succeed.

The People that Surround Us

Fear of SuccessAs stated above, your success is dependent on many things but surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people is imperative. If you surround yourself with people, who can only point out the negative aspects of your project, constantly tell you how what you’re doing won’t work or how you’re wasting your time. They are right; you are wasting your time having people like that surround you. If you want to be successful, surround yourself with like-minded individuals. If the negative one is your family or your childhood best friend, you need to limit their exposure to your project and limit your time with them until you gain success. Once you start achieving success, they will find some other aspect of your life to tear down.


Your success is dependent on you and only you. We are our own worst enemies on our road to success. Just remember these points and remind yourself of them every day and you will defeat the failure.


If you remind yourself of these five things every day, you will attain success. And when you achieve success, please make sure you take the time to teach and help others find their way to success.

Other related articles:

Welcome to the Road to Personal Wealth

Road to Success

Learning the Ropes to Online Success

4 Comments on “Fear of Success

  1. I guess we all have some form of fear of success. What I find interesting is, it can be so subtle you may not even be aware of it. For me, I try to sit in silence each morning (meditate) and just keep my commitment to keep taking the next step. Every time I get too far out in front of myself, I feel the fear. If I aim to just take the next step, then I can breathe and relax a bit more. Thanks for your post. I need to read it as a reminder today!

    1. Hi Jackie,

      That is excellent advice for those reading this article on how to manage the fear of success. I agree, when we feel we are getting too far ahead of ourselves is when the fear starts to creep in and hold us back. It is so difficult to get used to the idea of embracing our fears. We have to learn to use fear as motivation and not a signal to quit. Nothing feels better than overcoming our fears in relation to life accomplishments. If I can just get over my fear of heights and spiders, I will be good.

      LD Johnson

  2. I never really considered the negative people aspect of it, but I once heard someone say something to the effect that we’re all basically the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with. This is a great article and very helpful in many ways. I think for many of us the fear of the unknown is something that really prevents us from getting started in the first place.

    1. Yes, Mark, the fear of the unknown is so powerful and it prevents so many people from pursuing their dreams. But I think if you realize what is preventing you from moving forward you have an opportunity to fix it. That is what my article is about, recognizing what is holding you back so you can defeat it and find success.

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