Fear of Success Why Do You Resist What You Want Most

Recently I heard from an entrepreneur who was ready to put a course they were working on out into the world. Let’s call her Barb. 

Barb had taken the time to build her email list. She had people on her waitlist waiting for the course to be announced. She’d created her sales page and checkout pages. 

But when it came time to announce that her program was open for enrollment Barb froze. 

She couldn’t hit send. 

She had everything completed. But she couldn’t break through the resistance to get herself to take the final step. 

Why on earth would that happen? 

Well, this is fear of success rearing its beautiful little head again my friends! 

Fear of success is the fear of what happens if you’re successful. Like the fear that people will expect more of you, that you’ll be more stressed out, or that you’ll end up so busy you won’t have a life. 

This combined with a few other little friends has created a whole gang of wolves nipping at Barb’s ankles. 

  1. Impostor Syndrome. Barb was terrified that what she had to offer wasn’t worthy or up to snuff. She was putting all kinds of pressure on herself to be perfect and get things so that no one would ever have any complaints about it. 
  2. Fear of what other people think. Barb was afraid that even if she sold out her course, people might not like it. They might be unhappy with their results. Or they might not think as much of her anymore. 
  3. Perfectionism. Feeling like she needed to get it perfect or else something bad would happen. That people would hate her, no one would buy, or she’d be called out as a fraud. 
  4. Fear of Success. Fear that she would sell out the course and would be unable to keep up with the work to manage her students and release the content to them each week. Fear that she would be signing up for a lifetime of stress and anxiety about how to get the things done that were making her mind feel messy and confusing. 
  5. Fear of Failure. Fear that people might not buy it after all. That she’d built up this story about feeling overwhelmed at providing the course while simultaneously being stressed out that no one would want it even if she offered it. 

Ouch. So much going on. 

As you can see, this isn’t really a point-blank “I’m afraid to make sales” or “afraid they won’t like it” type of fear of success.

It all comes together to a powerful core fear – the fear of stress. 

Anticipating what might come with creating all of the course materials, managing other people’s expectations, being in the spotlight of other people’s (perceived) judgments of her, and feeling as though she has something to prove (which is so common with high-achievers!) 

And then she was trying to cope with perfectionism which is making it all seem SO so so freaking exhausting, overwhelming, and stressful.

So it’s like an anticipatory stress response that is making the approach to the thing feel more stressful than it may in reality be!

A few things to help overcome fear of success would be: 

1. Working on managing the stress response. Working on regulating her nervous system so that she’s creating from a place where she feels chilled out and at ease instead of feeling stressed out and constricted.

2. Challenging the perfectionist beliefs that are limiting her and the (potential) traumas that underlie those that tell her that worthiness is earned through achievement (in other words – knowing that even if the course does flop – she’s still a worthy badass!)

3. Managing the strong emotions that come up with approaching the tasks and the beliefs around needing it to be perfect and needing everyone to absolutely love it (there will always be people who don’t absolutely love everything we do. And that’s totes okay!).

4. Shifting your being – this “I’m an employee and I can’t leave” which is competing with “I want to get this up so that I”m no longer an employee and I can leave” thing… This is about her stepping into a future self that has the thing she wants now. And acting from that place rather than from the place of the overwhelmed employee/starting entrepreneur to the chilled-out success!

I’m so proud of Barb for owning this vulnerability. 

But it brings to a head what so many entrepreneurs experience (especially those at the start of their journey). 

The inner resistance that says “no, no, no, no, no” 

And you’re like “What? Why? This is exactly what I want!”

Luckily there are ways you can break through this. 

And you can become that chilled-out achiever that you’re here to be. 

The one who isn’t held back by that sticky icky “feet stuck on the floor” feeling that makes everything feel so damn HARD! 

Screw hard. We’re not here for that. Do you feel me? 

So if you’re struggling with this same pattern, and find that you’re not sure what to do about it. Hit me up. Send me a DM on Instagram – @dr.ashleegreer

This is exactly what I help people work through. And I’m a badass at doing it. 

I help entrepreneurs break through these types of limits. To shift their relationship with success and wealth so that they can become the wealthy infinite badass who feels chilled out and like life is a buffet where they get to choose whatever they want.

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