What’s Holding You Back, Fear Of Failure Or Fear Of Success?

Are you frustrated at your lack of productivity? Do you feel like you are not able to accomplish your goals because you fear failure? Ask yourselves this: Is it really fear of failure or fear of success?

Perhaps you’re suffering from some sort of fear of failure. But could it perhaps be the fear of success that is holding you back?

Perhaps you’re afraid that some people might think that you have changed so much. They may think that you need to make so many personal sacrifices just to achieve your dreams…

Maybe you’re afraid of people around you that may think you’ve changed a bit too much. You could also feel that you will need to make too many sacrifices to achieve personal success.

Having dropped that heady question, let’s elaborate a little. Most people are reluctant to invest their all in a business venture because they are afraid of failure.


Sure, there are many challenges to being an entrepreneur, but fear of failure has to do with a sense of rejection which is well talked about in our society.

But then there are those ambitious workers who are so passionate about their ideas and work hard to achieve success and then subconsciously start fearing their success and start holding themselves back.

There are so many reasons you fail to make the grades you deserve. When you say it out loud, it seems kind of strange, doesn’t it? Why would you work so hard in your well-paying top job to get to a place where you want to be, only to start sabotaging yourself? Seems ridiculous, but it’s not.

In today’s success-oriented society, not much thought is given to the fact that success can be scary, and perhaps you would be better off in a less stressful, relaxed job. These days, you can find quite a few jobs that are low-stress, don’t even require a degree, and still pay pretty well.

The enemy at the forefront of our minds is failure, so success remains behind as a subtle fear, occasionally surfacing in the form of careless mistakes or reckless decisions or a comment in a business meeting that makes us cringe inside and think, “What’s wrong with me today?!”

Well, education is a poor man’s best weapon to success, so here are some thoughts one might have that are classic examples of fear of success:

Will I be up to the challenge?

Fear of success has to do with a fear of working too hard, or as it is more aptly put, fear of biting off more than they can chew. On the other hand, how can you expect excellence if you aim for mediocrity? Just face the challenges, overcome the hurdles, and get the rewarding career you deserve!

This type of person will do all their research, come up with a business model, and everything else there is to do, but when it comes to the execution point, they either don’t move forward or they get discouraged easily.

If only education would be using and implementing new technological tools faster! That would help. They as well are often comfortable in a familiar situation and hesitate to expose themselves to new pressures and demands. Just like many of us.

Will I lose myself?

We tend to put successful people on a pedestal, and achieving success for some means turning into one of them and having people throw the dreaded “you’ve changed” line at them.

Most people fear a change in the people and environment around them, and this fear manifests itself in thoughts along this line. Maybe you need to work on your PSI (Positive Self Image) to get ahead.

I feel guilty for parading my success in front of others who have tried and failed

Then there are some people who tend to procrastinate when it comes to their goals to avoid conflicts with family and friends.

They also avoid telling people about their success for fear that people will call them a show-off. Just look at those tech millionaires with their perhaps not-deserved fortunes…

This kind of guilt subconsciously holds them back from achieving their maximum potential. They think they are over or underqualified for the job, they don’t deserve to succeed, or that if they do, they won’t be able to sustain it, so they don’t bother.

Here’s how you can battle these negative thoughts

1. Accept that you will never please everyone. Make sure you are comfortable with the choices you are making and move forward from there. If people react negatively to success, think again about the kind of people you let into your life.

2. Remind yourself of why you’re doing it in the first place. Think of the positives that you will get out of success, and don’t think you’re underqualified or overqualified for the job.

3. Think less, do more. The more time you’re spending thinking, the less you’re doing. The only way to move forward is to throw yourself into the work you have to do. Address your fears instead of avoiding them by addressing your workload. Don’t look at what you fear will happen but focus on what you hope will happen and watch your success bloom.