Fear of Success


For a long time, I’ve dealt with fears in different areas of my life. Some more apparent than others. As I learn and I become more aware of the things I do I realize I would do well in something, and at the last minute tend to back down. For instance, I’ve taken a back seat to let others get the credit for working with a client telling myself they are better at it than me. As I think more my mind flashed back to a time in elementary school. My teacher gave us a test, which I excelled at, but excelling unintentionally entered me into the school spelling bee. I did NOT want to be in front of an audience spelling words. I didn’t even want to appear that I could be smart enough to be up there. But, I was there. I did well until I realized there were about 4 or 5 of us left. So I purposely misspelled the next word they gave me.

What would make me do that?

It wasn’t a fear of failure, I had a fear of success! And it followed me into adulthood. I would freak myself out by imagining the pressure from a promotion that didn’t even exist. Do you suffer from a fear of success? Here are just a few symptoms that we don’t realize are lurking:

  1. Don’t want the spotlight on you
  2. Fear not being able to deliver once in the position (even though you have the skillset to)
  3. Afraid of being something you’re not
  4. Fear no longer having time for what you love to do, the way you have time now
  5. Fear of what people think of you (don't want them to think you changed)

These symptoms can keep you from finishing projects, being proud of your work, and not stretching yourself for more. You may also have a tendency to get distracted easily. So how do we overcome? Here are a few steps that have helped me as I invest in developing myself to be at my best:

  1. Realize you deserve the best: just because YOU do! Nothing to do with what you’ve done
  2. Rid yourself of people pleasing: People will have an opinion either way. Sticking to your small base to avoid the unknown criticism as you increase is not maximizing your potential. Someone out there needs you, don’t worry about who doesn’t.
  3. Change is inevitable, embrace it: Often, our fear of success is because we fear the unknown. We want to stick to the plans and structures we know. But life can change at any moment from any angle. Might as well meet it head-on.
  4. Trust God to equip you where He’s called you: If God got you that promotion, if He increased your platform, have no worries about how you’ll perform. You will get the motivation you need at the right time.

Don’t allow excuses to keep you from living your best life. Don’t be afraid of being the vessel you were created to be. No one benefits from you playing it safe. So go ahead, step out there and believe in yourself.

Have you had a fear of success? How do you plan overcome now that you recognize it? How have you overcome in the past? Drop a comment.

Keep your crown up,

Felicia Morgan


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