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How do I Cope with a Fear of Success?

Jacob Queen
Jacob Queen

In order to learn to cope with a fear of success, you need to understand the source of the fear. In many cases, people may not even be aware that they have a fear of success, and they may simply be avoiding success unconsciously and sabotaging themselves. Once you understand the source of your fear, you can either make adjustments to your plans or change the way you feel about the potential consequences of success.

There are many common causes of a fear of success. Some people may be afraid that if they become too successful, they will outgrow their friends—they may also fear that their friends might become jealous. Sometimes these fears may even be justified, because people can often be envious, and sometimes extra care has to be taken to maintain friendships when achieving great success.

Woman with a headache
Woman with a headache

Some people may fear they won’t be able to sustain their success. They also might fear the possible additional responsibility that can come from succeeding. When people have fears like these, they may end up taking actions to make themselves fail so that they never have to face the situation at all.

Once you understand your fears, there are several different ways to deal with them. Sometimes just having a full understanding that the fear exists is enough to dissipate the feeling. In other cases, it is possible to make some kind of plan that allows you to avoid the negative consequences you are fearing while still achieving success. Sometimes it is necessary to simply accept the fact that success is going to change your life and that some of those changes won’t be easy to adjust to.

In a few cases, the best way to cope with fear of success is to change your plans altogether. You may think that you want to achieve a goal in your conscious mind, but deep down, you may realize that the goal is not something you really want in your life. When this happens, it’s generally time to reassess everything and make sure that you still want the thing that you wanted previously. Sometimes there are many paths to potential success, and the path that you're on may not be the right one for you.

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