Is the fear of success real? How could anyone possibly fear such
a wonderfully positive thing as success? As strange as it sounds,
many people do fear success. This fear holds them back from achieving
their goals and dreams. It may sound more reasonable to fear failure,
and not to fear success.
What is this all about? Here are some reasons people fear success.
Think these through and you'll begin to resolve these issues within
1. Change Itself Is Scary: it's easier to maintain status
quo and go along unthinkingly. Life is easier when we can live it
on auto-pilot. Change brings us into the unknown with its mix of
exciting adventure and scary possibilities.
2. People Will Expect You to Succeed Again: there is a new
pressure to perform to a level that was not there before. You are
aware of people watching and waiting for you to repeat your success.
3. The Bar Has Been Raised on Your Performance Levels: your
old habits and processes will not work. You have to change familiar
and comfortable ways of being for the new.
4. You Will Get More Attention From People: if you are a
private person, or are not used to having an audience, this will
take some adjusting.
5. Your Private Life May Suffer: athletes and movie actors
who make it big complain that they have privacy no longer and that
they must hire security and worry about financial and personal safety
6. You Question If You Can Do It Again: you may wonder if
the first victory was a fluke the next time you perform, and if
you fail, people will say it was an accident. This puts added pressure
on this second performance and takes away the value of the first
performance should you fail.
7. Your Time Demands Will Change: you have less time now
because maintaining new levels of performance bring new demands
on your time, new details you've never had.
8. People Expect You to "Be" a Certain Way Now: famous stars
in show business are expected to be big tippers or to sign autographs,
and if they don't, are denigrated. People have a set of expectations
about how you should behave in your new position.
9. It's Harder to Stay at the Top Than to Get There: it was
tough succeeding, but repeating it is usually even harder. It takes
more time, more planning and with your new distractions and obligations,
keeping focus is even more demanding.
10. You Make Enemies When You Perform Higher Than They Do:
you may leave former peers behind, symbolically and literally, when
you raise the bar. Many people may be happy for your success and
others feel slighted and envious.
11. Being a Success Can Limit You: when an actor hits it
big in a role, they are forever remembered as that character-and
if they don't manage their career well, they will become type-cast.
When you do a great job on a project, you might be known as "the
one" to do this job for eternity because you are "so good" at it.
12. Being a Success Changes Your Self-Image: perhaps you've
always wondered if you could succeed at something. You may not have
felt worthy of this success. People may have told you, covertly
or overtly, that you don't deserve success. You at least know your
place as one who is average. When you succeed, people will look
to you for advice, leadership, as being a model of virtue and you
will forever change how you see yourself.
To learn about sports psychology coaching services offered by Bill
Cole, MS, MA, the Mental Game Coach™, visit www.SportsPsychologyCoaching.com.
Copyright © 2005-2008 Bill Cole, MS, MA. All rights reserved.
Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority on sports psychology, peak performance,
mental toughness and coaching, is founder and CEO of William
B. Cole Consultants, a consulting firm that helps sports teams and individuals
achieve more success. He is also the Founder and President of the International
Mental Game Coaching Association, an organization dedicated to advancing
the research, development, professionalism and growth of mental game coaching
worldwide. He is a multiple Hall-Of-Fame honoree as an athlete, coach and school
alumnus, an award-winning scholar-athlete, published author of books and articles,
and has coached at the highest levels of major-league pro sports and big-time
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