With my curiosity peaked, I decided to research symptoms on the only place I know to find superior medical information AKA Google. Selfishly, I wanted to find out if I had it. What I found surprised me.
The Fear of Success can manifest itself in many ways. The four most common are:
1 – Self-sabotage
(e.g. - Drinking too much the night before a presentation or reading a book well into the night when you have an early start the next day)
2 – Procrastination
(e.g. - Finding a million other things to do when it’s time to start working)
3 – Talking, but not doing
(e.g. - Spending too much time on platform-building activities and selling your project while you should be writing/editing)
4 – Negative Outlook
(e.g. - “That agent isn’t getting back to me – it must be a rejection” or “No one’s going to like my book”)
As a change-seeker and “hit-send-on-the-email-before-thinking-too-hard-and-psyching-myself-out” kind of person, I rarely indulge in numbers 1-3. However, pessimism can be my companion at times, but is that enough to say I have full-blown FOS?
Entertaining a negative outlook is normal, I think. Be sure to comment if you don’t agree.
Another factor that plays into the Fear of Success equation is guilt. Feeling like you haven’t earned the accolade or feeling like you haven’t been doing something long enough contributes to the phobia. I do know this one well – maybe there is a little FOS kicking around inside me after all. With writing, the learning curve never ends. There are always areas to improve. Always. The idea of never truly being the best rattles me.
In sum, maybe we all suffer from varying degrees of FOS. It is all right to be scared of the unknown, but when you feel the prickle of hesitation, jump in anyway. Begin typing. Throw yourself into editing. Do what it is that you talk about doing and don’t let your fear stop you from succeeding.
What do you think? Do you suffer from the Fear of Success?