Are You Afraid of Success? Overcome Your Fears and Begin Thriving


Success is pursued, celebrated and the reason so many of us invest tons of money in education and trainings. With that being said; how can anyone fear success?  Why would anyone fear thriving in their career?  Why would anyone fear living the life they worked so hard to obtain? Why would anyone fear making a difference?  Why would anyone fear leaving behind a legacy as a result of their hard work?  With success comes power and with power comes responsibility. Fear of success is similar to fear of failure. These fears get in the way of you being the best version of you and achieving your goals.  The following are reasons most people fear success:

You consistently spend a lot of time questioning your competence.  It is normal and healthy to have a dose of “humble pie” every once in a while and seek guidance from mentors.  If you find yourself spending a lot of time second guessing every decision you make, second guessing or down playing accomplishments and turning down opportunities that could open more doors for your success; you may fear success.

Self-sabotage:  Creating excuses why we didn’t get something done, telling ourselves mediocre is good enough or believing that huge goal we set is just too big.

Change: “Change or get left behind.” Change is a messy process and you WILL experience this process if you choose to pursue success. Most of us fear the unknown on the other side of change.  Keeping this in mind, there is a huge investment in remaining the same or “being left behind.”  Will I be okay with who I become as a result of my success?  Some fear they will become a “mean spirited” person, develop addictive qualities or lose the qualities that make them unique.  Are you afraid of whom you will become or the results you will achieve (or not achieve)?

Procrastination: Procrastination is a symptom of fear. The only way to overcome this is to feel the fear and do it anyway.

Avoidance: You spend more time talking about your projects than you do completing them.

It’s too hard!  Remember if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.  Your journey to success will be filled with tests.  Without these tests there are no testimonies.  Your journey can and will help someone else.


Ask yourself these questions as you get to the core of your fear of success:

Why are you standing in your way? Past learning experiences often influence our behaviors in the present. What past experiences are holding you back from success?  What do you need to let go of? What have others said to you to discourage you from moving forward?

What does success look like to you? Success is a subjective experience.  Get clear on your goals and define why you are doing this?  Do you want to help other people?  Do you want financial freedom? Begin by identifying a small success. It could be something as simple as making it through the day without second guessing yourself or completing a task.  Stacking small successes will lead to the big successes.

You’ve achieved success, what’s next? You fought through your fears and achieved success. Visualize this scene.  Are you happy? Will you celebrate? Do you feel accomplished?  Will you set more goals?

Success is not an accident, it’s a choice. You will be successful, when you make the decision to get out of your own way and be successful!


I want to hear from you. Have you ever self-sabotaged your success?  How did you get out of your own way in order to be successful?


Sharise Hemby-Nance is a licensed therapist and award winning author with 15 years of experience in individual life coaching and counseling.   For more information or assistance with adjustment and life transitions, please contact me at



One thought on “Are You Afraid of Success? Overcome Your Fears and Begin Thriving

  1. I appreciate this post. As I take steps to become a better educator and advance in the field, I am excited and afraid of what can or may happen. I do question my competence, procrastinate, and to my surprise avoid certain projects. After reading this post, it seems as if fear of the unknown may play a role. The quetions you ask to help get to the core of one’s fears are thought provoking and relevant. Thank you for taking time to write this post.


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