How to Overcome Fear of Success

Overcome fear of success

Success is something that many people strive for, but for some, the fear of success can be overwhelming. This fear can hold you back from achieving your goals and reaching your full potential. However, with the right strategies and mindset, you can overcome this fear and pave the way for success.

One of the first steps to overcoming the fear of success is to identify and understand the root cause of your fear. Often, it stems from a fear of the unknown or a fear of change. You may be afraid of what success will bring or how it will change your life. By acknowledging and confronting these fears, you can start to unravel them and take control of your mindset.

Another important strategy is to set realistic and achievable goals. Sometimes, the fear of success can be driven by setting unrealistic expectations for yourself. Break down your goals into smaller, manageable steps that you can easily accomplish. This will help build your confidence and show you that success is within reach.

Surrounding yourself with a supportive network of friends, family, or mentors can also help you overcome the fear of success. Having people who believe in you and your abilities can provide the encouragement and reassurance you need to push through your fears. They can also offer advice, guidance, and accountability as you work towards your goals.


Overcoming the fear of success is a journey, but with determination and the right mindset, you can achieve your goals. Take the time to understand and confront your fears, set realistic goals, and surround yourself with a supportive network. Remember that success is not something to be feared, but something to be embraced and celebrated.

Recognizing the Fear

Before we can overcome our fear of success, it is important to first recognize and understand the nature of this fear. The fear of success is a common psychological barrier that can hold us back from achieving our goals. It stems from various underlying fears and beliefs that we may have about ourselves, our abilities, and our worthiness.

Here are some common signs that indicate a fear of success:

  • Self-sabotage: When we consistently undermine our efforts or intentionally sabotage our own success.
  • Procrastination: Delaying important tasks or avoiding taking action towards our goals.
  • Perfectionism: Setting impossibly high standards for ourselves and being afraid of making mistakes or being judged.
  • Self-doubt: Constantly questioning our abilities and feeling inadequate or unworthy of success.
  • Fear of criticism: Worrying about what others will think or say if we succeed, and fearing negative judgment or rejection.

Recognizing these signs is the first step towards overcoming the fear of success. It allows us to become aware of the negative thought patterns and beliefs that are holding us back. Once we acknowledge and understand our fear, we can then start to challenge and reframe these thoughts in a more positive and empowering way.

By recognizing our fears, we can begin to take control of them and work towards overcoming them. It is important to remember that fear is a normal and natural response to change and growth. It is okay to feel afraid, but it is essential to not let that fear dictate our actions or hold us back from reaching our full potential.

Tip: Keep a journal or make a list of the specific fears and beliefs that are contributing to your fear of success. This can help you gain clarity and make it easier to challenge and reframe these thoughts.

Understanding the Causes

A fear of success is a psychological barrier that can prevent individuals from achieving their goals and reaching their full potential. It is an intense fear or anxiety about the positive outcomes that success can bring. This fear can manifest itself in a variety of ways and can be caused by several factors.

1. Fear of Change

One of the main causes of fear of success is a fear of change. Success often requires individuals to step out of their comfort zones and take on new responsibilities and challenges. This can be intimidating and lead to a fear of the unknown. Individuals may worry about how their lives will change and if they will be able to handle the new demands that come with success.

2. Fear of Failure

Ironically, a fear of failure can also contribute to a fear of success. Many individuals who fear failure also fear success because they worry about the pressure and expectations that come with achieving their goals. They may worry about not being able to maintain their success or live up to the standards they have set for themselves.

3. Fear of Judgment

3. Fear of Judgment

Another common cause of fear of success is a fear of judgment from others. When individuals succeed, they may worry about how others will perceive them or if they will be seen as arrogant or boastful. This fear of judgment can hold individuals back from pursuing their goals and can prevent them from fully embracing their accomplishments.

4. Self-Doubt

Self-doubt can also play a significant role in fear of success. Many individuals struggle with feelings of inadequacy or imposter syndrome, believing that they are not deserving of success or that their achievements are due to luck rather than their own abilities. These negative beliefs can sabotage individuals’ efforts and prevent them from pursuing their goals.

5. Past Trauma

In some cases, fear of success can be linked to past traumatic experiences. Individuals who have experienced failure or negative events in the past may develop a fear of success as a way to protect themselves from potential pain or disappointment. This fear may be deeply rooted and require therapy or other professional help to overcome.

Understanding the causes of fear of success is an important step in overcoming it. By identifying the underlying factors contributing to your fear, you can begin to address them and develop strategies to move past them. Remember that fear is a natural emotion, but it should not hold you back from achieving your goals and reaching your full potential.

Setting Realistic Goals

Setting realistic goals is key to overcoming fear of success and achieving your goals. When you set unrealistic goals, it can be overwhelming and discouraging, which can lead to self-doubt and fear of failure. Here are some tips for setting realistic goals:

1. Start small: Begin by setting small and achievable goals. This will help you build confidence and momentum as you see yourself making progress. As you achieve these smaller goals, you can then set bigger and more challenging ones.

2. Be specific: Set specific goals that are clear and well-defined. Avoid setting general goals like “be successful” or “make more money.” Instead, break down your goals into specific actions and outcomes. For example, instead of aiming to “be successful,” you could set a goal to increase your sales by 10% within the next quarter.

3. Set deadlines: Give yourself deadlines for each goal. Deadlines help create a sense of urgency and keep you focused on taking action. Be realistic with your deadlines and ensure they are achievable within a reasonable time frame.

4. Break it down: Break down larger goals into smaller, manageable tasks. This makes them less overwhelming and easier to tackle. For example, if your goal is to write a book, break it down into smaller tasks such as writing a certain number of pages or chapters each week.

5. Track and review: Keep track of your progress and regularly review your goals. This allows you to celebrate your achievements and make any necessary adjustments to stay on track. It’s important to be flexible and willing to adapt your goals as needed.

6. Seek support: Don’t be afraid to reach out for support and guidance. Surround yourself with people who believe in your abilities and can provide encouragement when you need it. Consider hiring a mentor or coach who can help you stay accountable and provide guidance throughout your journey.

By setting realistic goals and following these tips, you can overcome your fear of success and achieve your objectives. Remember that it’s okay to start small and take things step by step. Each achievement along the way will boost your confidence and propel you further towards success.

Developing a Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is the belief that your abilities, intelligence, and talents are not fixed traits, but can be developed through dedication, effort, and learning. This mindset is essential for overcoming fear of success and achieving your goals. Here are some strategies to develop a growth mindset:

  1. Embrace challenges: Instead of avoiding challenges, see them as opportunities for growth. Embracing challenges helps you develop new skills, gain confidence, and expand your capabilities.
  2. Cultivate a love for learning: See learning as a lifelong journey rather than a destination. Develop a curiosity to explore new ideas, read books, attend workshops, and seek out new knowledge.
  3. Set specific goals: Set clear, measurable goals that challenge you to stretch your abilities. Break these goals down into smaller, manageable steps to track your progress and stay motivated.
  4. Practice resilience: Understand that setbacks and failures are a natural part of the learning process. Instead of giving up, use failure as an opportunity to learn and improve. Practice resilience by bouncing back from failures and staying motivated.
  5. Surround yourself with positive influences: Surround yourself with individuals who have a growth mindset and believe in your abilities. Seek out mentors, coaches, and supportive peers who can inspire and motivate you on your journey.
  6. Embrace feedback: View feedback as a valuable tool for growth and improvement. Accept constructive criticism with an open mind and use it to identify areas for development.
  7. Develop a self-belief system: Cultivate a positive and empowering belief system that supports your growth and success. Replace negative self-talk with affirmations and positive thoughts that reinforce your abilities and potential.

By developing a growth mindset, you can overcome your fear of success and tap into your full potential. Remember, success is not a fixed destination, but a continuous journey of growth and improvement.

Taking Small Steps

When it comes to overcoming the fear of success and achieving your goals, taking small steps is essential. Taking on a big goal can be overwhelming and can make the fear even greater. By breaking down your goal into smaller, manageable steps, you can gradually build confidence and momentum.

1. Set achievable and realistic goals: Start by setting goals that are realistic and attainable. Break down your big goal into smaller milestones that are measurable and time-bound. This will help you stay focused and motivated.

2. Prioritize your tasks: Once you have your smaller goals set, prioritize the tasks associated with each goal. Identify the most important tasks that need to be done first and start working on them. This will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed and help you stay organized.

3. Celebrate small victories: When you achieve a small milestone or complete a task, celebrate it! Acknowledge your progress and give yourself a pat on the back. This will boost your motivation and reinforce the belief that you are capable of success.

4. Develop a support network: Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends, family, or mentors who can encourage and motivate you. Share your goals with them and seek their advice when needed. Having others to lean on can help alleviate the fear and keep you on track.

5. Practice self-care and self-compassion: Taking care of your physical and mental well-being is crucial when facing fears and working towards your goals. Make time for activities that help you relax and recharge. Practice self-compassion by being kind to yourself and embracing any setbacks or failures as learning opportunities.

6. Learn from setbacks: Setbacks are a natural part of any journey. Instead of letting them discourage you, view them as opportunities to learn and grow. Analyze what went wrong and adapt your approach. Remember that failure is not the end, but rather a stepping stone to success.

Taking small steps allows you to gradually expand your comfort zone and build confidence in your abilities. Over time, the fear of success will diminish as you realize that you are capable of achieving your goals. Stay persistent, stay focused, and believe in yourself.

Surrounding Yourself with Supportive People

Overcoming the fear of success and achieving your goals requires a strong support system. Surrounding yourself with supportive people can help you stay motivated, inspired, and focused on your journey towards success. Here are a few ways to find and connect with supportive individuals:

  1. Identify your support network: Take some time to identify the people in your life who have been supportive and encouraging. These may include family members, friends, mentors, or colleagues. Recognize the individuals who consistently uplift and motivate you.
  2. Engage in networking: Attend events and join communities that align with your goals and aspirations. Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals can provide you with a supportive network of peers who can relate to your experiences and challenges.
  3. Seek out mentors: Look for individuals who have achieved the success you aspire to and ask them to be your mentor. Mentors can provide valuable guidance, support, and encouragement, as they have already walked the path you are embarking on.
  4. Avoid negative influences: It is important to actively distance yourself from individuals who bring negativity, doubt, or discourage your pursuit of success. Surrounding yourself with negative energy can hinder your progress and prevent you from reaching your goals.
  5. Join support groups: Explore support groups or online communities that focus on personal and professional development. These groups provide a safe space to share experiences, seek advice, and find motivation from others who are also on a journey towards success.

Remember, building a support system takes time and effort. Surrounding yourself with supportive people is crucial to overcoming fear of success and achieving your goals. Embrace the positive influences around you and be open to new relationships and opportunities.

Celebrating Your Successes

When it comes to overcoming the fear of success, it’s important to celebrate your achievements along the way. Recognizing and celebrating your successes can help you build confidence and motivate you to continue striving for your goals. Here are some ways you can celebrate your successes:

  • Reflect on Your Accomplishments: Take time to reflect on what you have achieved. Write down your achievements and the skills you have gained throughout the process. This will help you appreciate your progress and build a positive mindset.
  • Share with Others: Share your successes with friends, family, or colleagues who have supported you along the way. Their congratulatory words and encouragement can boost your confidence and reinforce your belief in your abilities.
  • Reward Yourself: Treat yourself to something special as a reward for reaching certain milestones or achieving your goals. Whether it’s a small indulgence or a bigger splurge, it’s important to acknowledge your hard work and dedication.
  • Express Gratitude: Take a moment to express gratitude for the opportunities you have had and the resources that have helped you along your journey. Gratitude can help you maintain a positive mindset and attract more success into your life.
  • Connect with Like-Minded Individuals: Find a community or group of individuals who share similar goals and aspirations. Celebrating your successes with others who understand the journey can provide support and motivation to continue moving forward.
  • Set New Goals: After celebrating your successes, it’s important to set new goals for yourself. This allows you to continue growing and challenging yourself, preventing complacency and stagnation.
  • Learn from Setbacks: If you experience setbacks along the way, view them as learning opportunities rather than failures. Embrace the lessons they provide and use them to refine your strategies and approach towards success.
  • Keep a Success Journal: Maintain a journal where you can record your successes, big or small. This serves as a reminder of your achievements and can be a source of motivation during times of doubt or fear.

Remember, celebrating your successes is not about boasting or comparing yourself to others. It’s about acknowledging your growth, staying motivated, and maintaining a positive mindset on your path to success.

Seeking Professional Help if Needed

If you find that your fear of success is severely impacting your daily life and preventing you from achieving your goals, it may be beneficial to seek professional help. There is no shame in asking for support and guidance from a therapist, counselor, or coach who specializes in helping individuals overcome their fears and pursue their ambitions.

A professional can provide a safe and non-judgmental space for you to explore the underlying causes of your fear of success. They can help you identify any past experiences, traumas, or limiting beliefs that may be contributing to your fear and work with you to develop strategies to overcome it.

Therapy or coaching can also provide you with valuable tools and techniques to manage your anxiety and build your confidence. By learning how to challenge negative thoughts and reframe your beliefs about success, you can gradually change your mindset and develop a healthier relationship with achievement.

Additionally, a professional can help you set realistic goals, break them down into manageable steps, and provide accountability and support as you work toward them. They can also assist you in developing healthy coping mechanisms and self-care practices to mitigate stress and anxiety along the way.

Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, and working with a professional can greatly increase your chances of overcoming your fear of success and achieving your goals. Don’t hesitate to reach out and take advantage of the resources available to you to support your personal growth and development.

Questions and answers

Why do some people have a fear of success?

Some people have a fear of success because they are afraid of change or the unknown. They may fear that success will bring new responsibilities or expectations that they are not ready for. Others may have low self-esteem and believe that they are not worthy of success or that they will not be able to handle it.

How can I overcome my fear of success?

One way to overcome a fear of success is to identify and challenge negative beliefs or thoughts that may be holding you back. It can be helpful to work with a therapist or coach who can provide support and guidance in this process. Additionally, setting small, achievable goals and gradually increasing the level of challenge can help build confidence and reduce fear.

What are some common signs and symptoms of fear of success?

Some common signs and symptoms of fear of success include procrastination, self-sabotage, fear of taking risks, excessive self-criticism, and feeling stuck or unable to move forward. Physical symptoms such as anxiety, tension, and even panic attacks may also be present.

Is fear of success similar to fear of failure?

Fear of success and fear of failure are similar in that they both involve a fear of the unknown and a fear of change. However, they have different focuses – fear of success is primarily concerned with the potential negative consequences of achieving goals, while fear of failure is focused on the potential negative consequences of not achieving goals.

Can fear of success be a subconscious fear?

Yes, fear of success can often be rooted in subconscious beliefs or fears that we may not be consciously aware of. These subconscious fears can sabotage our efforts and hold us back from achieving our goals. It can be helpful to explore these subconscious fears through therapy or self-reflection to better understand and overcome them.

Are there any strategies or techniques to help overcome fear of success?

Yes, there are several strategies and techniques that can help overcome fear of success. These can include visualization exercises, positive affirmations, cognitive-behavioral techniques, and gradually exposing oneself to the fear in a controlled and supportive environment. Working with a therapist or coach can also be beneficial in developing personalized strategies for overcoming fear of success.


How To Overcome the Fear of SUCCESS and Finally ACHIEVE YOUR DREAMS | Marisa Peer

Fear of Failure or Success Hypnotherapy | Suzanne Robichaud, Registered Clinical Hypnotherapist

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