4 Common Fears that Keep You Back from Success – and How to Overcome Them

You have been striving for that oh-so-wanted dream for a while, but the results don’t seem to come as expected. You put all your efforts, but you always hit a glass ceiling, and you start to wonder what is this invisible wall keeping you back from stepping up to the next level?

It’s not the circumstances, and it’s not anyone else either. The only person standing in your way is you.

Here are the most common fears that can keep us back from success…


The Fear of Success


You might think you are really determined and you want to reach your goal no matter what it takes. Well, maybe you don’t. Why? Because if you get too successful, then you might lose people you love. You grow in a direction where some of your closest ones don’t follow you. They don’t understand and support your decisions in life and the sacrifices you have to make. Perhaps, they are simply jealous of your achievements, and they start spreading negativity after you leave the room or try to make you feel like you don’t deserve what you want.

There will surely be some people along the way who will try to hold you back, and if you really want to follow your vision, you have to let them go. It’s not going to be easy when it comes to people you have a history with, but if they try to sabotage your success, they are probably not the ones you need in your life anymore.


The Fear of Failure


We are all concerned about what other people think about us: that is what makes public speaking terrifying and what makes us say or do things we don’t want at all, just to please others. It’s our human instinct of survival keeping us connected in a group that used to save us from wild animals once upon a time and which, nowadays, provides a support system for our modern-life problems. It is a necessary, but sometimes quite unfavourable behaviour.

However, you only need to understand two things to stay confident about yourself:

First, failure is not a person, but an event.

Second, failure is not an outcome, but a turning point. You attempt something –it you succeed, it’s good – if you fail, you change directions.

Another way is to imagine the worst thing that could happen to you. Think about how you would handle it and how would you move on. Now that you faced your fear, visualize the most positive outcome. Visualize moments of joy and tangible results in the most detailed ways possible. Make it a habit, and let it motivate you every day to move forward!


The Fear of Higher Expectations


As Marshall Goldsmith said, what got you here won’t get you there.. Becoming more successful, in any field, will come with bigger challenges which can create an internal chatter in your head chanting I can’t do it or I’m not good enough. You might also think that being successful will come with spending more time working and less with your family and friends.

Ask yourself the question: Do you really enjoy what you are doing? Is it the thing you really want to be doing long hours, day to day?

If your answer is yes, get back to point two…

If your answer is no, then chances are you don’t pursue the right goal. You have to put your efforts into something truly important to you in order to succeed.


The Fear of the “Mean World”


It is a common misbelief across religions and cultures that pursuing more than you have and dreaming about higher abundance are wrong endeavors or simply evil. You might have inherited the faith that success spoils people or that rich people are mean. Did you see people around you using their wealth or power for a wrong purpose? Did your parents talk about successful people with contempt and hatred when you were a kid?

If getting higher in life fills you up with guilt, then your subconscious mind will prevent you from achieving the things you are working hard for by creating obstacles in front of you.

In order to break down these walls you have to get rid of this limiting belief by affirming yourself about the fact that the pursuit of more is a natural and innate behavior. Money is not evil, and it is not the final goal. It is a tool to acquire the things you wish for, and to provide for yourself as well as for others. There is enough for everyone, and all of us have an equal right to work for our dreams.




The moments of achievement and the moments of struggle will exchange each other in an ever moving dance on the way, but the point is that success is a process. Your goals will change by time moving to different heights or different directions, so there is no use in tying your success to them. But if you cherish a vision in your life and take baby-steps towards it with all your attempts, then you will experience success all along your journey and you will be an inspiration for others.

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