Fear of success

Last week we discussed fear of failure being a reason why people may not make progress towards their goals. This week we'll look at fear of success.

Fear of success may sound like a strange thing to hold you back but it is nearly as common as fear of failure.

Success leading to failure

A fellow entrepreneur, V, is in a great place with her business with it growing and staff taking on more hours. However, she worries about the business growing so much that it will collapse. Clearly there is an element of fear of failure in this, but it is also fear of being so successful that the success will disappear. A related issue may be fear that the business gets so big that it is no longer controllable or what you wanted in the first place.

Something I ask in this situation is:

  • How much success do you want?

  • What motivates you towards growth?

It's not uncommon for some business owners to realise that there is an optimum size beyond which they they don't want to grow. And that's ok. But you have to realise it first. There is an assumption when it comes to business growth that bigger is always better, but if that takes you away from what motivates you in the first place, then it might not be what you really want.