Fear of Success, Fear of Failure

Today, let’s talk about fear. Two kinds of fear: fear of success and fear of failure.

All of us have these two kinds of fear.

Most of us understand the fear of failure. Few of us possess a handle on how to grasp the fear of success.

Let me put it this way. Fear of failure is one’s “lower limit” (survival) whereas fear of success is one’s “upper limit” (success or happiness).

When Bobby faced a looming company lay-off and financial crisis, he experienced intense fear of failure and embarrassment.

That’s his “lower limit” - his pain threshold. 

As a result of the fear, he became depressed, withdrew from his family, and went into nightly drinking. 

Believe it or not, even though Rowena wanted to be a millionaire, when she hit it, she felt scared.

Being the daughter of a fish vendor and raised in poverty, she didn’t quite feel she’s fit for what she accomplished. 

So what did she do? 

She spent almost her money from her savings so she can be brought back down to her “comfort level.”

In her case, she unknowingly sabotaged herself with her fear of success. 

Her “upper limit” avoided increasing levels of  wealth, happiness or fulfillment for some internal reason.

Everybody has a comfort zone - both a “lower limit” and an “upper limit.” 

When our life experiences get too far enough outside of our comfort zone, it brings up all our mental and emotional “stuff.”

“Stuff,” such as: wounded childhood experiences, past trauma, family secrets, lack of self worth, distorted beliefs about life and relationships, trust and control issues, among others.

The work of personal healing and wholeness is not to let our comfort zone and those limits as well as our “stuff to dictate our choices and block our growth.

In psychotherapy, this is something that needs to be learned and chosen and consciously embraced.