It has always been a goal of coaches, therapists and change agents to help their clients be successful. But what if the fear of success is holding them back? This article will look at the reasons fear of success becomes an issue and what you can do to help them overcome it.
The term fear of success relates to a person’s ability to restrain themselves from achieving their deepest desires. When we explore the reasons for this behavioral pattern we realize there are four main areas for consideration. These are 1 — A reality that is not in line with their true purpose. 2 — An unreal expectation of how they can achieve success. 3 — A presupposition that success is only temporary. 4 — An ability to tell themselves they don’t deserve success. Let’s look at each in turn and discover how to unlock the secrets to overcoming the fear of success.
In ‘time’ we feel as though we are creating a rod for our own back if we work towards a goal we want to achieve. But what if making success easy was as simple as A, B, C? How can we help Our clients realize the true meaning of success?
Initially, we see that our clients come to us for guidance on how to overcome all manner of issues and complaints. But what we need to understand is that they are all asking for help to be successful in something they are trying to achieve. With the help of a therapist, they feel that they can be guided through the issues being presented to achieve some state of satisfaction, peace or clarity. Most people have ideas about what they don’t want and this just enables a sense of the need to ‘move away’. However, when being made aware of how success can replace the fear of failure, clients often respond with a similar or more pronounced fear response. (1) So in terms of supporting their development to achieve success we need to understand what drives them towards a successful outcome.
A successful outcome depends on the situation or conditions under which they are to be achieved. Let’s say you have a client who wants to achieve success in the area of business. To be able to make the changes in the direction of moving forward we need to be able to help them see how to get there under their own steam. So when it comes to reversing the psychology of the fear of success to one of manifesting desired outcomes we see that using elements of awareness can support their application of the principles that lead to success. The principles of success are such that they encompass all that need to be transitioned in the form of knowing what to do next.
Preparing for lift-off
In each person’s experience, there is a perception that supports the idea of survival. Should there be an interruption in this perceived state of being, trauma begins to enlist its support in the form of fear anxiety and stress. I say support because the main job of fear is to protect us from unnecessary harm or even death. How is it how is this related to a fear of success?
By way of analyzing the steps needed to be taken towards success, we can see that moving forward can seem like a dangerous path to take. Fear of success, then, becomes a way to avoid failure and ultimately death. So how do we prepare our clients to take the next step?
The first situation to be realized is that of where they are now in relation to where they need to be. What is it they are experiencing now that is stopping them from moving forward. How can you support them in understanding the journey is about self-discovery and how they can learn to develop resources along the way? What if you could create a map of where they need to be in relation to where they are now? How would these elements of awareness support your client in moving towards success?
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1. Chandler S, Article: Coaching Coaches. The Healing Pool Magazine, Coaching Edition 2020,(in production)