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Why are we sometimes afraid of success ?

While ambition is generally valued, success can be frightening. You move forward with your project, things are going rather well and, when you get close to the goal, you start to doubt, to procrastinate, as if to delay the moment when you have to dive in. Some even end up scuttling their efforts, leaving their aspirations aside to maintain the status quo. Pourquoi ?

The apprehension of success is insidious because, unlike other types of fear, it does not come from a single object, but from several sources of anxiety. In other words, we do not fear victory itself, but the accumulation of anxiety about what will come of it makes us fear the worst.

First we fear… failure. Often, success brings responsibility. Have you been promoted at bureau ? Bravo ! But now you have to take on a new position with more obligations. Same thing if you are the proud owner of a young and growing company. Believing that you won’t be able to live up to your new role – the famous impostor syndrome – can be a barrier to success.

Success also forces us to get out of our daily comfort zone and forces us to go through periods of uncertainty. When triumph looms on the horizon, we can see the shadows it casts and it can be frightening.

Finally, success often gets bad press. It calls for a suspicious questioning on its true origin: dirty money, compromises inavouables ?

Also, there is a certain popular wisdom that those who succeed pay the price. Think of the musicians who end up in the limelight. Their former fans sometimes accuse them of no longer being authentic, of having sacrificed their art to become more “ commerciaux ”. Some people are afraid of burning their wings and prefer half a success to triumph in order to preserve the benevolent gaze of others.

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3 tips to overcome the fear of success

1. Understand what our fear is.

What are the fears at juste ? When we ask ourselves these questions, we often realize that our fears are irrational. Why does success absolutely have to come with an award caché ? Where is the proof that after a success, the difficulties will always be croissantes ? By identifying what is stopping us, it becomes easier to deal with it.

2. Using fear as a driving force

What if the fear of success was an incentive for action, like the artists’ stage fright before going to scène ? Never leaving your comfort zone is also a problem in itself. Will your cozy comfort today still be as satisfying in a year, two years, ten years ans ? It’s likely to become “ plate to mort ”. A comfortable situation becomes more difficult to leave every year. Maybe it’s better to move while you still have the energy.

3. This is all theory

Your fears are pure speculation. You don’t know what’s going to happen once you cross the fence. Maybe it will be difficult, but maybe it will go smoothly. Stopping yourself from moving forward because of unsubstantiated assumptions would be the best way to never do anything. In any case, before facing possible risks, you should already have réussir !

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