The fear of success is often something that most people do not think about when they search to discover what may be holding them back. When we think of success, often we focus only on the positive side of the equation. We have a tendency to conveniently forget that success also has other attributes that is brings to the table.
With success, we find ourselves facing a host of new responsibilities that we didn't have when we were unsuccessful. Success can also place on our shoulders the expectations we may place on ourselves or the expectations of others. Essentially, the fear of success can then be defined, more accurately, as the fear of greater responsibility and the fear of greater expectations.
Why do we have this fear? We can often fear greater responsibility because we face the realization that responsibility brings a certain amount of dependence. An example of this is a successful business that requires you to maintain a growing sense of responsibility to handle the influx of new problems and hurdles that success brings to the table. In tandem with this is the fear of expectations. These may be unrealistic or realistic. We find ourselves buckling under the pressure of the expectations we places on ourselves or the expectations that success often creates for an individual to keep being successful.
How Can We Overcome The Fear of Success?
The first, and most obvious, aspect of overcoming the fear of success is that in order to face this particular fear, we must first become successful. If we seek to face this fear before we have even become successful, we are essentially putting the cart before the horse. We are getting ahead of ourselves. If, in fact we are successful, then there are some steps we can take to help us overcome the fear of success.
They are as follows:
- Define success - Success is many different things to many different people. If we do not have this clearly defined, then we are exposing ourselves to a fear that has no face. We are also less likely to achieve success if we have not even defined it in the first place. How will you know you have arrived if you do not know where you are going? In contrast, we cannot overcome the hurdles and fears of success if we have not clearly defined the success we seek.
- Be realistic - This takes honesty to be done properly. We must have a clear understanding of what is achievable and what is in our means to accomplish if we are to overcome the fear of success and become successful. Setting realistic goals and expectations is a crucial aspect in the successful execution of any plan we put into action. Know what you are truly capable of. Check these ideas with close friends or colleagues. They can help you see things that you may have overlooked.
- Keep your eye on the prize - Constantly remind yourself as you move forward that your goal is the success that you have defined for yourself. When fear creeps in to rob you of your motivation and drive, remember what it is that you set out to do in the first place. Often, the simple reminder of the rewards of success is enough to overcome the fear of success that may be plaguing your thoughts. Do not lose sight of your goal. This is one of the marks of a good leader.
Being successful in life is a goal for which that most of us strive. Success, and the fear of success, is an aspect of life that we must define for ourselves. In this lies a great sense of hope as well as a great sense of tragedy. We can be the biggest driving forces for success and failure in our own lives. We are in charge of our thoughts and our actions. Success is solely dependent upon us.
The fear of success may be an unorthodox mode of thinking, but it is something that should be considered when we are seeking to improve ourselves and drive ourselves down the road to success. The consideration of the fear of success is not to be overlooked. Your success may depend on it.