It almost sounds counter-intuitive if you ask yourself – do I really fear success more than failure? However there is sound reason and probably a few good examples you can come up with from your own experiences to prove that making a paradigm shift would be useful. First if you fail not much really changes. You have just proven to yourself that you could not do what you set out to do, so you just confirmed that things can stay the same. Failure maintains the status quo but not success. So what is it about success that people fear versus failure?

Success is almost synonymous with change. Your life suddenly moves much quicker whether you are ready for it or not. Classic examples include C-Suite promotions from the lower ranks, winning a major sport’s title, being rated number one in your industry, losing weight. When you think about your previous successes think about how your life changed. Caroline Myss wrote that we are more afraid of success, i.e. through the speed of change because our lives will move so much faster and we will not be ready for what is about to come.

What will stop success dead in its tracks are self-sabotaging behaviors. One easy way to think metaphorically about how this principle applies is to think about the first time you learned how to ride a bike or ski or drive a vehicle. Success in any of these pursuits involves mastering a certain level of confidence with speed [of change]. The faster one goes the more fearful [at first] it seems to be. The self-sabotaging behaviors could be considered slowing yourself down or falling or stopping even though you may not have experienced any consequences. These behaviors can either be made consciously or outside of your consciousness.

My challenge to you is to think about the areas in your life where success has eluded you. Would you reason that because you were afraid of failure that you did not succeed? Or could you look through the new lens of a paradigm shift to believe it was more success that you feared because this would cause your life to change in many uncertain ways? Lastly, remember if you suddenly realize that you fear change then what you really might be saying is that you fear your own success!

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