Are You Scared Of Success?

Amid the fear of failing hides another fear that is less often spoken about: the fear of succeeding. Yes, success isn’t necessarily the key to happiness, that’s why there may be times we fear it. Self-censorship, immobility… Might you be scared of succeeding?

 “It’s not the fear of starting, it’s the fear of succeeding which better explains failure.” Emil Cioran

Why is success frightening?

Although some people are willing to do anything to succeed, this is certainly not the case for everyone. Just like failure, success can disrupt life and disturb tranquillity. It’s one of the bases for the fear of success.

1. Because you have to go down an unfamiliar route

It’s rare for success to be achieved within our daily lives. It’s often the result of time-consuming work that has to be carried out off the beaten track. To succeed, you have to surprise and be surprised. It’s impossible to rest on your laurels, and this isn’t easy to do. Stepping out your comfort zone requires strength and energy, something we don’t always have.

How can I accept this promotion if it will take me away from my office, from my colleagues? Why should I embark upon this project if I risk losing time and money? Success sometimes requires big changes that might scare us.

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2. Because we’re ashamed

Succeeding inevitably involves being put centre stage. Not everyone can stand being put in this position, especially in a country like France, where personal success is often frowned upon and is a source of envy and suspicion. But that’s not all. It’s not uncommon for some women to carry out self-sabotage, fearing they might be more successful than their partner and outshine them. Many are also scared of succeeding and outperforming their family members, especially their parents. Psychologically, it’s not easy for everyone to reach a position higher than that of their parents. In some families it’s not even readily accepted. So in order to not feel excluded, it’s common to shy away from being a high achiever.

Scared of success

Lack of self-confidence is often linked to the fear of succeeding. Am I capable? Am I up to the task? Am I going to manage? By repeating these questions to ourselves we prevent ourselves from making progress along the path of success.

3. Because failure will be more painful

Once at the top, falling will be harder and more painful. This apprehension is sometimes the cause of fearing success. After a great achievement, we are scared that everything will stop and that we will fail once again, which will feel more even more brutal. These negative thoughts have a significant impact on us and drag us away from the path of success. You have to understand that life is full of ups and downs and so fearing failure means fearing success. They go hand in hand.

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Editor's Advice – Look out for avoidance strategies

We are still not conscious of our fear of success. It is sometimes hiding in small behaviours that we have, which are in fact avoidance strategies we put in place. Procrastination, perfectionism, only being able to see problems, avoiding unknown situations are all self-control behaviours that cover up our fear of succeeding.

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