Are you afraid of success?


I’ve noticed a subtle pattern in some of the women I work with — the fear of success.

I’ve learned to ask my clients and the women in Profit from Your Passion, what the negative associations are with getting what they want.

Here’s some of the answers I’m hearing:

  • I’ll have to put in more hours for the added responsibility at work that will give me a pay raise.
  • I’ll have less time at home with my family.
  • I’m already working hard on my business, I can’t imagine how much “harder” I’ll have to work if I get more new clients.
  • This level of output doesn’t feel sustainable.
  • I won’t be good enough *I am afraid I won’t help my clients.

Fear of Success is Fear of Change

Your subconscious mind controls about 95 percent of your habits and behaviors.

This part of your mind is automatic.  Think of a time when you drove somewhere and don’t recall driving there.

You subconscious mind wants to keep you safe.

When you step into something new, your mind will go on overdrive with fears due to the uncertainty of the new thing.

Making a change can feel like a risk and therefore – consciously or unconsciously – you can become stuck because of fear.

We create “comfort zones” that are mental boundaries in our minds that help us feel safe.

When you’re about to move up a level or into a new job for example, this uncertainty can cause fear and limiting beliefs to crop up.

We call it: New level :: New Devil.

Your mind will come up against all the reasons why you can’t get out there and do what you want to do.

Your mind will seek evidence for anything you believe (good or bad).

The imagined demands of a new job or building a business might cause you to unconsciously sabotage your success.

Notice what you might lose if you get the thing you want most.

I had a woman whom I’ll call Sally in my Smart Women Make Money class. She had a successful business and made good money but she spent it all.

Sally was frustrated because she never had enough money.  We dug deep and went back to her family of origin for clues to unconscious beliefs.

A belief that her family had was that “people like us just can’t keep money.”

I asked her to go deeper and look for a fearful belief that might be underneath that thought.

Sally said that if she made more money than her family and friends, she was afraid they would reject her.

They wouldn’t love her anymore or want to be around her.

Being rejected is a fear and risk that many people use not take action to go after what they want.

When Sally became conscious of the belief that was driving her behavior unconsciously, she was able to change her spending habits.

Becoming conscious of the negative associations with success is key.

The fear of success is really the fear of your own greatness.

Marianne Williamson coined her famous saying,

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

I hope you will shine your light brightly. We need more light workers in the world.

What are your negative associations with getting what you want? I recommend that you journal about this.

If you liked this article, please share the love. Here’s to your success!

Related articles:

Why Successful Women Might Feel Like a Fraud

How to Do the Impossible 

When Did You Start Hiding?