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Are these 3 Fears holding you back from Success?

Fear can be your best friend or your worst enemy
Fear can be your best friend or your worst enemy.

Procrastination is a major problem that most of us face. We are all guilty of procrastinating… at some point or another. It is important to understand that our actions (or in this case inaction) stem from our feelings. Procrastination stems from fear. Understanding some of the fears that hold us back is the first step to fighting this success killer.

Fear of Failure
This is one of the most common fears. We have been conditioned by society to think that failure is a bad thing. Is failure really that bad? Well, that depends on your definition of failure

If you see failure as falling down, then you are likely to beat yourself up before you even attempt anything. However, if you view failure as not getting up after a fall, now that’s an entirely different thing all together isn’t it?

Failure is not falling down. Failure is not getting back up
– Chinese Proverb

Besides, if you are so afraid of failure, then it only means that you should take action!


Because you fail in everything you do not do. Think about it… Are Olympics athletes who come in last place failures? No… as long as they complete the race, they are winners. As long as you do it and give the best of yourself, you are never a failure.

Fear of Success
Are you surprised? Don’t be. Fear of Success is a legitimate fear. I remember that when I was in high school, I was always among the top students in school. Did it feel good? Well… yes and no.

While I was proud of my academic achievements, I was also keenly aware of how lonely it was at the top. I was from a neighborhood school and most of my classmates were more interested in fun and games than studying. Whenever the results are announced, I would always hear some nasty comments that were made out of pure jealousy.

It made me a little fearful about my accomplishments. I was afraid I would become unpopular and I did let such thoughts affect me a few times, leading to a drop in my academic rankings. It’s silly, I know. Sometimes you just want to blend in… and you just want to “feel accepted”.

Fear of Success is as real as it gets. One way to deal with it is to think about yourself as a role model. By becoming successful, you show others that they can do it too.

Embrace Success. Become an inspiration.

Fear of Embarrassment
This is perhaps one of the biggest fears. People would do anything to avoid being embarrassed. That’s why so many people are afraid of public speaking – they are afraid they’ll say the wrong thing and people will laugh at or ridicule them.

I wrote about shyness in my last post and what it cost me. If we were to break it down, shyness is primarily fear of failure (rejection) and fear of embarrassment. We are afraid of getting hurt and shyness is a form of defense mechanism. The thing is it not only protects us from perceived danger, it also robs us of possible joy.

When you experience the fear of embarrassment again, ask yourself this question: “What’s the worst thing that can happen?” Decide whether the costs really outweigh the benefits.

Fear is a double-edged sword. It can serve as a good warning system to alert us of dangers but more often than not, it tends to hold us back from taking the actions that will serve us in the long run.

Feel free to share with me your fears and how you go about overcoming them. If you enjoyed this article, you may want to stumble it or bookmark it at your favorite social bookmarking sites.

Related Resources
Panic Away – A Revolutionary New Technique To Cure Acute Anxiety And Panic Attacks In Easy-To-Follow Steps Without Any Medication!
Procrastination Blaster – Exterminate All your Hidden Limiting Beliefs And Blast Through To The Success You Deserve


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Hi Joao,

I did suggest ways to handle the fears in my article.

For phobias, you may want to engage a life coach who’s trained in NLP so that he/she can do a fast phobia cure for you.

For deep rooted fears, you may want to approach a certified hypnotherapist trained in 5 path… who will be able to help you through age regression and/or time line therapy.

JOAO says:

Oh, how the gurus are the same! all you say this or that but never give us solutions, Ok your comments regarding FEARS are ok AND SO….?? WE CONTINUE BEING FEARFULL.What if you try to solve the difficult, is easy to say I know my fears I know why I get those fears the point here is HOW TO GET RID THEM, IF YOU HAVE ANSWERS OK, IF NOT PLEASE DON~T TELL ME THE OBVIOUS

NLP Advisor says:

What an excellent blog, I’ve added your feed to my RSS reader. 🙂

Barb says:

I am challenged by some of these fears, too, so thanks for this article. One of my favorite books of 2007 that helped me is called The Go-Giver. Its “Five Laws of Stratospheric Success” made a big difference in my thinking about success, struggle and abundance.

Syd says:

This is a very useful post. Fear of failure can be diminished greatly by changing what we consider to be failure. Changing just the definition can have such a vast effect on our thinking and behavior. That shows how powerful and influential words and thoughts can be.

Ryan says:

The way to getting successful is to take massive action! But with fear as an obstruction, it is very hard to start doing anything at all. So I’ll say we should all embrace our inner fears, but “Feel the fear and do it anyway!”

Jayna says:

That article is so true, I have also been of a victim of the fear of success. So many of us shatter our destinies because we fear failure and we fear success. If we just refocus and try to overcome, most of us will better off. I love how you have linked your own experiences in this as well. I needed to hear this. God Bless you and have a happy new year!

Oh well, however, we try to “dissect” the word fear, when faced with reality… it takes a lot of self persuasion to steer clear from fear.

Brandon says:

I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but for anyone that hasn’t, fear stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. Fear is just an illusion, really.

Though, it does suck if you trip and fall down around a crowd of people. Illusion or not, that’s embarrassing.

Congrats on the gold bloggyaward!

Keep turning your “failure” into feedback and personal kaizen, and who knows how far this blog can go. Keep up the solid work.

January says:

Found your blog from Steve Pavlina’s forums! I want to find your 10 day vegan adventure. However, I wanted to leave a comment for this. I don’t have a fear of failure, but I sure as heck wouldn’t do what those people in the picture are doing! Makes my palms sweat just looking at it!

Melissa says:

i’d like to share this, since its related to fear.
here is my defination of fear.
False Evidence Appearing Real.

john says:

Interesting expressions. NapHill outlines six basic fears and they are of poverty, criticism, ill health and then of loss of love of someone, old age, then of death.

Jack Payne says:

“He who hesitates is probably right.” Is it axioms like this that spell out into procrastination?

Better understanding of the procrastination trap would be, I think, another ancient axiom: The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.