Do You Have a Fear of Success?
You’ve heard of fear of failure. But what about fear of success?
“Come on Lewis. Does that really exist?”
I thought this too.
But then listening to Shane Parrish and Chris Williamson talk about this recently, it made me realise it IS a thing, and I’ve seen it too.
What is the Fear of Success?
It is the fear of what comes with the successful version of yourself that you wish to achieve.
Let’s say you want to begin going to the gym.
That could mean:
Success means sacrificing going out drinking with friends.
Success means feeling left out.
Success means having FOMO.
Success means potentially changing your friends.
I recently had an athlete that is up late at night playing video games and it’s wrecking his recovery from training. He’s not willing to sacrifice the time with friends (at 1am!) to move towards his success.
The Fear of Success is not necessarily the fear of the success itself, but the externalities that come with the success.
You might be thinking but I can hang around my friends and not drink, I’ll be able to deal with not going out, it won’t be that hard.
Believe me, coming from personal experience, you need some super human willpower and as Shane Parrish says, “everyone’s will power eventually breaks”. And even if you do it’s definitely not a comfortable feeling.
I was quite happy with having my friends make fun of me, call me out, while I made decisions that didn’t fit with everyone else.
You will need to do the same.
How do we overcome the Fear of Success?
In pursuit of your version of success, map out what it is potentially going to cost you if you go for it.
Think of what you are willing to let go of. Possibly compromise on. And whether you believe you have the mental strength to take it.
If you can preempt what you think some of these cost are going to be of success, and you’re ok with it, you might end up not fearing that success.
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