5 Practical Ways to Overcome the Fear of Success

Discover How to Move Past Your Limitations and Overcome Self-Doubt

Neel Raman
9 min readAug 8


The fear of success is a real and common phenomenon for many people. As much as people desire success, it’s not uncommon to develop an inherent fear of it.

This fear can be overcome by developing practical strategies and adopting a healthy mindset towards success.

Learn practical ways you can recognize and overcome the fear of success so you can tap into more of your potential and create the life you want.

Don’t let the fear of success hold you back from achieving your dreams and goals. It’s time to step out of your comfort zone and embrace success.

1-Minute Summary Video

What is the Fear of Success?

The fear of success is an internal limiting construct that can cause people to doubt themselves and not pursue what they really want in life.

It’s a psychological pattern where a person will hold themselves back from achievement and success. It’s a form of self-sabotage caused by underlying fears and beliefs.

The fear of success may be rooted in traditional gender roles, economic backlash, and fears of future success. It can manifest itself in many ways, such as negative thought patterns, avoidance behavior, or even life dissatisfaction.

At its core, the constant fear of success involves a concern about a negative outcome resulting from personal achievement. This could include the worry that too much success will lead to problems with relationships or cause economic hardship.

Some people view success as overwhelming, and the thought of it causes anxiety and stress. Others may fear that success will disrupt their current life and relationships with others.

Those who fear success may avoid opportunities, procrastinate, or self-sabotage their efforts to achieve their goals.

Whatever the specific concern may be, it can have a detrimental impact on a person’s well-being and future success.

Understanding the roots of this fear and developing strategies to overcome it can help you uncover more of your potential, so you can achieve your desired levels of success.

fear of success

Why Should You Overcome the Fear of Success?

It’s important to acknowledge and overcome the fear of success because it:

  • Allows you to tap into more of your potential and accomplish your goals.
  • Builds self-confidence and self-esteem, leading to a positive self-image.
  • Eliminates self-sabotage, procrastination, and other negative patterns that may hold you back.
  • Helps in developing a more positive relationship with success and fosters a healthy view of it.
  • Allows you to experience greater opportunities for growth, learning, personal and professional development, and financial stability.

While understanding the importance of overcoming the fear of success is important, you also need to know how to recognize it.

By identifying the different signs and symptoms of the fear of success, you can take steps to break free from it and achieve your goals in life.

Example of Someone Who Had and Overcame the Fear of Success

Someone who experienced the fear of success is Lady Gaga. Despite her massive success as a musician, she has spoken publicly about her struggles with anxiety and fear of failure. In an interview, she revealed her fear of success was so crippling that it led her to develop a physical illness.

To overcome her fear of success and anxiety, Lady Gaga practiced mindfulness meditation and other calming techniques, such as breathing exercises. She also worked with a therapist, who helped her to confront and process her fears.

Besides these practices, Lady Gaga also shifted her mindset around success. Rather than viewing it as something to fear or shy away from, she saw it as an opportunity for growth and learning. In an interview with The Huffington Post, she explained she found joy in her success and did not let it become a source of stress.

Lady Gaga’s journey to overcoming her fear of success was not easy and required a lot of hard work and dedication. By adopting practical strategies and a positive mindset, she was able to face her fears head-on and achieve incredible success in her career.

Her story is a great example of how anyone can overcome their fear of success by developing healthy habits and shifting their mindset towards positivity and growth.

How to Recognize the Fear of Success

The fear of success can manifest in different ways and may not always be obvious.

Common symptoms of the fear of success include:

  • Procrastination or avoidance of opportunities that could lead to success.
  • Self-sabotage, such as not following through on commitments or not finishing important tasks.
  • Downplaying accomplishments, such as attributing them to luck or others rather than acknowledging your own effort and ability.
  • Holding back from taking risks or trying new things due to the fear of failure.
  • Feelings of anxiety and discomfort at the thought of being successful, such as worries about losing control or not fitting in with a new social circle.
  • Negative self-talk that undermines confidence and reinforces the fear of success.
  • An underlying belief that success is not achievable, or is undeserved.

By developing healthy habits, adopting the right mindset, and fostering a positive relationship with success, you can overcome these symptoms and take steps to achieve the success you want.

5 Ways You Can Overcome the Fear of Success

Here are five ways you can overcome the fear of success so you can move past your limitations and overcome self-doubt to achieve what you want.

1. Identify and understand the root cause of your fear

Understanding the root cause of the fear of success is the first step towards conquering it. The fear of failure may be a factor, as well as traditional gender roles or concerns about life satisfaction.

It’s also important to note that most fears are irrational and are often rooted in negative thought patterns, which will have a negative impact on any progress you make.

This makes it important to identify these patterns and challenge them.

2. Challenge your own thinking

Once you’ve identified the source of your fear, challenge the thought patterns preventing you from achieving success. That may involve writing your fears and then reframing them in a more positive light.

For example, instead of thinking “I’ll never be successful,” one way to reframe that thought is by affirming “I can take steps to become successful.”

You can also use positive affirmations to combat the negative thought patterns, such as repeating “I am capable of achieving success” or “My success doesn’t define me.”

This will help you recognize and overcome any irrational fears, enabling you to move forward with confidence towards success.

3. Develop a plan to deal with future successes

One common fear associated with success is that of an economic backlash or losing control over one’s life after achieving success.

To help ease such fears, it’s useful to develop a plan for dealing with future success and focus on setting goals you really want.

This will help you plan and prepare for any future success, while enabling you to maintain better control of your life.

4. Cultivate a positive mindset

The fear of success often stems from negative self-talk and limiting beliefs. One useful way to overcome this is by cultivating a positive mindset.

Use affirmations and practice visualization and journaling to shift your perspective to one of positivity and abundance.

This can help you overcome the fear of success by shifting your focus from potential failure to learning and improving with each attempt.

Rather than worrying about the outcome, think about how each step towards success is an opportunity to learn and grow.

5. Get professional help

If the fear of success persists, despite trying these strategies, it’s beneficial to seek professional help.

Behavioral therapy can be useful for dealing with irrational fears and adopting healthy habits. Also, coaching interventions have been found to make a positive difference.

Individual coaching is an effective and evidence-based tool that can help you overcome the fear of success by providing you with the support, guidance, and accountability needed to reach your goals.

Coaching interventions can have a positive impact on overcoming your fear of success, such as increased intrinsic motivation and decreased avoidance behavior.

Consider connecting with a coach to gain insight into your current relationship with success, develop an actionable plan for overcoming fear, and build trust in yourself and your abilities.

By adopting these strategies and developing a healthy relationship with success, you can overcome your fear of success and achieve your goals.

The Benefits of Overcoming the Fear of Success

Overcoming the fear of success has many benefits that can positively affect your personal and professional life. These include:

  1. Improved self-esteem. It can lead to increased self-esteem as you learn to appreciate your self-worth and accomplishments, which will build a positive self-image.
  2. Greater confidence. The fear of success can lead to self-doubt and a lack of confidence. Overcoming it can reverse these patterns, leading to greater confidence in your abilities.
  3. Increased sense of fulfillment. Overcoming the fear of success will allow you to pursue your passions and accomplish your goals, which will lead to a greater sense of personal fulfillment.
  4. More opportunities. It will help you stay open to new opportunities as you become less afraid of trying new things and less anxious about taking risks.
  5. Greater financial stability. Success is often associated with financial stability due to career advancement or entrepreneurship. By overcoming any fear of success, you will be better able to achieve financial stability and security.
  6. Positive impact on mental health. Overcoming the fear of success can also have a positive impact on your mental health. When you’re able to achieve your goals, you’ll experience increased feelings of happiness, contentment, and overall well-being.

Final Thoughts

Overcoming the fear of success may not be easy, but by developing practical strategies, you can overcome it and unlock a world of possibilities.

If you don’t overcome it, the fear of success can hold you back from achieving your potential and living the life you deserve.

Don’t let fear hold you back. Embrace success. Choose one of the practical ways mentioned and have greater success in life.

Action Step: Choose one way to overcome the fear of success that resonates with you and implement it in your life. You can also find someone to help you with it and to keep you accountable. If you practice even one way, you will move towards your goals and become your best self.

Question: What is another way to overcome the fear of success?

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Neel Raman

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