How to Avoid Self-Sabotage: 5 Steps to Overcome the Fear of Success
Written by jbcoaches on January 5, 2020
Fear of success? Most people don’t believe they fear success, but most of them would be incorrect. Our lives rarely change because we become comfortable with our situation. We might not like it, but it’s comfortable. We know what to expect. We might be unhappy, but we know we can deal with it.
In a nutshell, we don’t like change. We also don’t like the prospect of failing or of standing out.
You might fear success if you:
• Consistently make plans for your life, but fail to follow through on them. Whether it’s to start a business, read a book a month, or hit the gym five days a week, you just can’t seem to make it happen.
• You leave projects uncompleted. This includes at work and in your personal life.
• You’re all talk. You rarely take action.
• You struggle to make decisions.
• Your life never changes for the better.
• You self-sabotage, especially when you’re nearing success.
This probably describes most of the people you know. Does it describe you accurately?
Use these strategies to defeat your fear of success and make real changes in your life:
1. Imagine being ultra successful. Imagine yourself being even more successful than you want to be. If your goal is to make $100,000 per year, imagine making $1 million. If you want to lose 25 pounds, imagine getting lean enough that you can see your abs. Do this each night and morning in bed.
◦ Make the visualization as vivid as possible. Include all of your senses. When it feels uncomfortable, stick with it and just relax.
◦ In time, it will feel natural. When that happens, achieving your goal will be much easier.
2. Practice standing out. Many of us fear success because we don’t want to stand out in any way. Somewhere along the way, we learned or decided that it’s better to keep our head down than to be noticed.
◦ There are a variety of ways you can practice standing out in your everyday life. You can dress differently. You might even put on a pair of pink mittens and walk around the mall in the middle of the summer. Or you could wear your best clothes to the store.
◦ You could go out in public with your hair disheveled.
◦ You can do something in public that you’re either really good or really bad at, like bowling.
3. Reframe failure. Fear of success might actually be a fear of failure. Keep in mind that failure is just an undesired result. It says nothing about you. It simply means that you need more practice, more time, or a better approach. When you can view failure in this manner, there’s nothing to fear.
4. Focus on action over thought. We can’t fear success if we don’t think. If you need to send 100 cold emails to find clients for your business, just sit down and get busy. The longer you think about it, the harder it becomes. Just decide and take action.
5. Have a real vision for the future. Enough motivation can overcome any fear. Create a possible future in your mind that is worth overcoming any obstacle. Fear doesn’t matter if you have a very compelling future in mind.
Do you fear success? It seems counterintuitive to fear success, but it’s a common obstacle to making sustained progress in life. Success brings attention, the unknown, and the possibility of failure.
Create a vision for the future that will pull you through any fears you might have. Learn to deal with discomfort. Remember, you only have one life to live. Avoid allowing fear to limit your life.