Fear of Success

If someone is trying to get their shit together, it is safe to assume there are areas in which they are not succeeding. I see many people who are afraid to succeed. It doesn’t make sense: the idea that someone could be afraid to succeed. The phrase paints a mental picture in which success is around the next bend in the road. There is a bottomless pot of gold and a truckload of prestige waiting in the driveway of a glorious mansion. All a person needs to do is go claim their success. “But wait,” they might say. “Something doesn’t seem right about my wildest dreams coming true…. I’m so afraid.”

That isn’t how it works.

A better name than fear of success would be:

The Inability to deal with the various crap that stands in the way of success because I am ill equipped and unfamiliar with the territory.

It doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as fluidly, but it is more accurate. Success is different things to different people, of course, but no matter how it is defined it usually takes effort to attain. There are some things that can create a good foundation to success.

Going to college can help in getting a job.

Inheriting a boatload of money might certainly have some advantages.

Being Brad Pitt probably makes it pretty easy with the ladies.

I’m digressing.

With the exception of the minority of people who stumble into success, excelling and moving forward takes intention. Reality check: The people who are willing to grind are the people who will most likely achieve.

I have to guess that many people who are trying to get their shit together wouldn’t be described as grinders. That isn’t to say that life, work, school, relationships, etc., don’t feel like a grind. I am sure they can. People often become victims of whatever grind they have chosen to hunker down in. There is a difference between living in a grind and being a proactive grinder with an eye on getting ahead.

I would define “grinding” as getting from point A to point B and beyond without being derailed by the frustrations and obstacles that get in the way. There are frustrations and obstacles in acquiring anything good, and not expecting them is short-sighted. People who motor through adversity achieve favorable results. When one focuses time, energy, and effort into anything, skills are acquired and confidence grows. The skills acquired are prerequisites for a person’s next step and the ones after that. People who fear success are people who haven’t developed the skills necessary to achieve it and manage it. Shortcuts, avoidance of obstacles, and a mentality of entitlement retard the formation of a solid foundation.

Go get grinding (and don’t take the phrase, “go get grinding,” somewhere ugly)

I love you.



2 thoughts on “Fear of Success

  1. Thank you. This is probably the most influential posts I
    have read as of late. It’s just a smart perspective, contains motivation, visual analogy, and food for thought. My guess is I will have this concept ringing in the back of my head for awhile. 🙂

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