Stuck In The Middle Podcast


How would you like to overcome your fear of success? (Part 2)

Too often we hear people talk about the fear of failure. But the fear of success, now that's something weird isn't it?

Growing up I wanted to be a Doctor, a Pediatrician to be more specific. Thinking about it now, it would have been a perfect opportunity for me to keep hiding. But something happened and somewhere in form five I made the radical decision to become a Lawyer; this same me who couldn't address a crowd even if my life depended on it. Funny thing is I was one of the loudest noisemakers in my class and dormitory (as long as no teacher or older student was around) but in the presence of strangers I was mute.

Choosing to study Law was one of the boldest things I had ever done. I was aware of my fears and I was equally aware of my timid nature but I knew that if I became a Lawyer, then I would have no choice but to be bold and so I embarked on a journey to overcome my fears. I equally remember that it was still in form five that I began to dance (stage as we called it).

In my previous post I mentioned that people who have a fear of success always find a way to sabotage their own success (sometimes consciously and sometimes unconsciously). They find a way to live their lives in hiding in order to avoid dealing with the consequences of success. Some, because they dread attention and weirdly enough for others because they love the pity party that accompanies failure (comments like "you did your best" "oh you tried" can become an addiction; article for another day).

The reasons why people fear success are manifold. You would find that people who fear success are usually very timid, hate change or are afraid of change, love it when people feel sorry for them, always have an excuse or reason why they didn't succeed or feel like they are not worthy of success (and will convince you into believing so).

For this post, I decided to share a few tips on how people can deal with their fear of success;

  1. Identify your fears and trace its origin (if you can't do so on your own, try talking with a friend or therapist);

  2. Identify your avoidance patterns: what are those things you do to cover up your fear? For me I would act as if I was bad at whatever I was doing;

  3. Challenge yourself: start with small tasks that push you to step out of your comfort zone;

  4.  Most importantly believe in yourself, do exercises that boost your confidence, live with purpose, accept that you deserve success and embrace the joy that comes with it, exercise more and try something breathtaking (like zip lining or bungee jumping or dancing).

Here's a tip: attend a conference where you can learn to overcome your fears.

When I decided to become a Lawyer, I had no clue how I was going to do it but I was certain that it was a job that would entail me to face crowds and speak up and I was determined to stop being afraid at all costs. But I do remember that after I made that decision, I began living with a purpose and my performance in school greatly improved.

I would conclude by thanking everyone for the massive response I received from the previous post and to everyone who reached out to me via inbox, keep fighting, don't give up. Trust me it's never easy to challenge yourself especially because we love being in our comfort zones.

I do hope this post is helpful? I'd love to know what you think. The inbox is still open and feel free to drop a comment.

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