A lot of people dream of becoming successful, but only a few succeed. No matter what success means – recognition, popularity, money, family, spiritual growth – the percentage of people who can call themselves successful is not that big. Why is that so?
In psychology, there is a term called fear of success. And it occurs much more often than you might think. It may occur in different ways, but the result is always the same: for some reason, people can’t achieve success.
Perhaps you remember your school friends who studied well but somehow failed the exams. Or saw footballers who made dumb mistakes during the Super Bowl. Or maybe you personally know people who don’t even try to achieve what they dream about. Often their meaning of life is not about the dream itself, but about its unattainability. That’s why a lot of guys end up like those whose ex-wives have to look for successful men on dating websites, such as Romancecompass and many others.
All these examples are results from the fear of success. But why are we afraid of what everyone wants so much? Success has another side – a dark and frightening one. In combination with joy, a sense of accomplishment and other bonuses, this dark side becomes a fly in your barrel of honey. And success can spoil us so much that we try to avoid it. Here are a few fears that prevent us from achieving success.
1. Fear of rejection
Such fears are inextricably linked with success in those people whose parents didn’t encourage initiative and individuality. For example, trying to do something in its own way, a kid caused inconvenience and/or anxiety to their mother. As years go by, the feeling of their own power, self-reliance, and ability to control their life begins to cause fear of rejection in the child.
2. Fear of losing the meaning of life
In this case, a person unconsciously fears that by achieving success, he\she may realise that it wasn’t what he/she wanted. And then terrible questions, like, “Why live further?” “What to do?” “What do I really want?” may arise. Most often, we prefer to organise our lives in a way that helps us avoid these questions. Or replace them with false meanings and unattainable dreams.
3. Fear of evaluation
And not only negative evaluation, but also possible envy from others. We are often frightened by the possible reaction of others to our success. Someone may start looking for our flaws, others may try to give unnecessary advice, and some may try to benefit from us. In this case, there’s a possibility that we may even have to change our circle of friends. And it always frightens us.
4. Feeling of guilt
There is such thing as survivor guilt. Most often, this term is used for people who survived some accident and feel guilty for not being able to save others. But sometimes this feeling of guilt shows itself in less scary situations. For example, children from low-income families rarely allow themselves to earn more than their parents. And kids of parents, who lived in an unhappy marriage, are often scared of becoming happier than their mum or dad.
5. Low self-esteem
An inferiority complex causes a vague feeling that you simply don’t deserve a better life. Especially if people around you, who seem smarter and much more capable, also can’t achieve success. If they can’t achieve anything, then you shouldn’t even hope to get something from this life.
6. Lack of an example
Success often results from a combination of certain personality traits, and habits that are formed during childhood. If the child can take after someone else, then there is a great chance that they will become successful. And if there’s no such person around, success will be more difficult to achieve.
Do not let these fears limit you from living your potential and achieving success. Rather than fear, have faith in your dreams:
“Feed your fears and your faith will starve. Feed your faith, and your fears will.” — Max Lucado
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Author: Hanna Greene
Hanna Greene is an experienced dating consultant. Her major in university was psychology so she approaches every problem with patience and attention. She’s also a lifestyle coach, helping people achieve success in everyday deeds and communication,