The fear of success is one of the biggest roadblocks that stops most people from living their best lives. People are afraid to take action and they are not pursuing their goals and dreams because of the fear of success.
In my previous article, I talk about the common signs of the fear of success. If you think that you are working hard and are doing everything you can but you are not achieving the success results you want, there is a high chance that you are subconsciously sabotaging your own success.
And this means that you are afraid of success. And why do you worry about success? Well, I suggest you read my previous article to understand more.
Basically, there are a few common reasons people are worried about being successful, and here are they:
- You’re afraid that there will be more responsibility
- You’re afraid that you will have to work even harder
- You worry that you will have no time for leisure
- What if you are successful but only to lose it all?
- You worry that you may become someone else
- You’re afraid of letting go of your comfort zone
- You think you don’t deserve to be successful
In this article, we’re going to discover the ways how we can overcome the fear of success and never to let our own fear holds us back from living the life that we desire.
1. Success is about doing the right thing
First, you have to understand that success comes when you do the right thing that will get you the result.
Hence, it doesn’t mean that you need to work hard like a madman to be successful.
Yes, working hard is important, but it is equally important to work hard on the right thing.
Thus, if you are afraid of success because you think it is going to take a lot of your time and energy, you may be wrong.
Plus, usually, success will come after you have put in the effort and time. And once the system is there, you don’t really have to work that hard anymore.
As the title of the best-selling book suggests, “The 4-Hour Workweek”. Yes, you can still be extremely successful and earn a lot of money by just working 4 hours a week.
The key is that you need to work hard on the system and then leverage on it rather than working hard blindly to make everything works.
So if your fear of success is that you will never have enough time to enjoy your life or have fun with your family, think again.
Success may take away your freedom for a short while, but once you get there, you can enjoy like most people can’t.
2. Understand that success is one step at a time
You have to understand that success is created one step at a time. There is no way you can get to the top in one step. Like what Vince Lombardi said:
“The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.”
There is no accident to success. It is through a series of actions that people become successful.
Thus, the fear that success is complicated or difficult may not sound true at all. Success may not be easy, but it doesn’t mean it is complicated too.
Read the book, The Compound Effect, and you will understand that success is actually the small amount of work you put in day-in and day-out, until you produce the big result.
Small victories compounded each day will eventually give you a big victory.
Therefore, you don’t have to worry if success is complicated or it is not meant for you. Everyone can be successful if they choose to go for it.
Just like writing a book. If you are committed to coming up with 500 words a day, within 365 days, you will have completed 1-2 books.
And if you think that 500 words a day is too much and you can’t handle, try just 300 words. What if you want to enjoy your weekend and you don’t want to write on the weekend?
Sure, go for 300 words every weekday. In a year, you will have written 78,000 words. On average, there are 250-300 words per page. You will have completed a book with 260 pages.
Is it difficult? Not really. But you need to be consistent and do the right things each day.
Thus, get rid of the fear of success that makes you think success is difficult or you can’t do it.
3. Be prepared and take failure into consideration
One of the biggest reasons people are afraid of success is because they are not prepared. They are not ready for what’s coming.
In other words, they don’t take failure into consideration because they are not prepared.
Think about it, if you are not ready for something, you may feel awkward, afraid, and even a little bit of stress when you do it the first time.
Imagine riding the roller coaster for the first time, how do you feel? At first, you may feel a little scared, a little nervous and you may even have sweaty palms.
But after a couple of rides, you started to get used to it. You don’t feel the nervousness anymore. Instead, you feel and enjoy the thrill.
Success is the same. When you are prepared, you will never be afraid of things go wrong. It boosts your confidence. And when you are confident, the fear will be gone.
Hence, if you want to be a great speaker, train to be one. Join the toastmaster club, rehearse, prepare your speech, train, and train, and keep training. Make it your second nature.
And when it comes to the moment you deliver your speech, you will have higher confidence and highly likely, you can do better than those who did not prepare at all.
So prepare for the success that you desire. Like what Jeff Goins, the New York Times bestselling author and successful blogger says, “You are a writer, you just need to write.” Read the book, You Are A Writer. It is a great read and an inspiring one too.
Just take action and do it. Ready yourself, prepare, and train, and your fear of success will fade.
“It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.”Les Brown
4. Associate and learn from the right people
Another great way to overcome your fear of success is to often associate with the right people. When you mix and mingle with other successful people, it becomes a norm. You will want to create the same success too.
Of course, this can be a double-edged sword. When you mix with the wrong group, say, people who always complain and blame, you will learn that too.
Thus, it is extremely vital to evaluate the people whom you spend the most time with.
When you talk to successful business people, what are the common topics? Businesses, how the economy is performing, which company to invest, etc. You will never hear things like, “Joel has been given a raised”, etc.
The conversation can affect the way you think. This is why successful people usually have other successful friends.
So to get rid of your fear, just join other successful people and learn from them. Listen to their stories. Learn how they overcome obstacles and make it big in life.
Not only that you will be inspired, but you will also have the thinking that, “If they can do it, so can I!”
5. Choose to think about the rewards and the goals
If you constantly think about failure, rejection, and how difficult it is to be successful, then guess what, you will cover yourself in fear.
The key is to focus on the possibility and the positive. You don’t want yourself to think about the negative stuff.
Why think about what will go wrong when you can think about all the good things that can go right?
Somehow, what you think may or may not be happening anyway. And since you are going to be thinking anyway, why don’t you choose to think on the good side. Think positively and think about the rewards, the goals, and see yourself living your dream life.
This is what separates the successful from the unsuccessful.
The unsuccessful see themselves facing the challenges. They see the failures. They see themselves being ridiculed and embarrassed by others. They then magnify the effect in their minds.
On the other hand, the successful see possibilities. They keep their eyes on the rewards and their goals. They constantly visualize themselves living in their dream life.
Tony Robbins says it wisely, “Where the focus goes, energy flows.”
So what happens when you focus on the negative, on what can go wrong?
Things will go wrong. You become afraid of success because you are thinking about the failure.
As a result, you don’t take action. Even if you do take action, you are not committed to your goal. You procrastinate and you sabotage your own success.
So focus on the positive. Choose to focus and think about the possibility and the rewards.
6. Understand that you create your own success… or failure
To combat your fear, you must learn to understand the fact that you are the one who is creating your own success or failure.
You must learn to take full responsibility for what happened in your life. Because if you don’t, you will never be in control and you will just leave things up to fate or luck.
The only time when you can be in control is when you take full responsibility for your life. Whether it is success or failure, you created it.
In other words, when you fail, but you understand that you are the one who created it, you can then change it.
For instance, if you think that your business is not performing well because of the economy, what can you do about the economy? Nothing.
But if you take the responsibility that your business is not doing well is because of you, you are able to make a change.
Maybe you need to train your team to sell better. Maybe your marketing is not working. Or maybe you need to improve your product’s quality.
When you take responsibility, you become in charge. You can control and you can make a change. More importantly, you become proactive rather than reactive by just responding to whatever that is happening.
If you think that you are not the one who is in control, you escalate your fear of success. However, if you think that you are in control and not the external factors, you will be more in calm. And the fear disappears automatically.
7. You define your own success
Finally, if you want to conquer your fear, you must understand that you are the one who defines your own success.
You see, people are worried and they are afraid because they are trying to compare themselves with others.
The word, ‘success’ and ‘failure’, have their own meanings – your own definition.
To those extraordinary people who have created outstanding results in life, they don’t look at failure as failure. Instead, they treat failure as an experience or a journey for them to learn.
This is why Thomas Edison said that he did not fail but he has successfully found 10,000 ways that did not work. He understood that a failure is not a failure, but an experiment to get what he wanted.
Conversely, people who are afraid of success will treat failure as seriously as possible. They thought that result is everything and they can’t fail. They simply put too much attention on failure or the event.
This is why they have the thinking, “what if I fail?”, “what if I don’t make it?”
Therefore, look at failure as a part of success, which in fact, it is. Failure is what gives you the experience so that you can become wiser to achieve what you want.
Plus, failure is not a person, but an event. If you fail right now, it doesn’t mean that you are going to fail again in your next attempt.
So what should you do when you fail? Simple, get back up and then try again.
For how long should you keep trying? Until you get the results that you want.
This is how you can overcome the fear of success.