Monday, 12 November 2012

Scared of Success

I was sitting at the table the other morning feeding Squish and thinking about how things were going in the house and what I could do to help things along. We are a little financially challenged at the moment, to say the least, so I was thinking about what sort of job I could get. That's when it hit me.

Since I had Big, I have always had a job that made me enough money to get by. I had to earn that much, but I wanted to balance work and home life as evenly as possible. We all do, right? I think I managed quite well as me and Big were quite happy with our arrangement.

When I was pregnant with Chaos and started to struggle with SPD, I had to give up work as it was just too painful and I ended up on crutches. That was in February 2010 and I haven't worked since. I found it quite hard adjusting to not being the wage earner and being reliant on someone else for everything but that is another story.

So, I was sitting at the table wondering what job I could apply for and how many hours I should sensibly consider. I thought about doing care work as there are usually vacancies, full or part time and it is quiet well paid. I then wondered about working full time and getting a double income in the house. A strange thing happened. I started to talk myself out of it. I realised then that I am scared of success. 

Having thought more about this, I realised that is why I never wanted to get married. If I ever, in the unlikely event, found "The One" how would I cope should anything happen and we were no longer together? I would rather never put myself in that position. It's like setting myself up to fail in a way. Amazing how I could be like  this and not even realise this is what I was doing!
How would I cope with losing a full time salary or two?! Surely, it would be better to just "manage". We wouldn't have to worry about tightening our belts or saving for crap weather. We would just know where we are all the time, getting by.

Writing this I realise how crap it all sounds. I can't believe that this is what was holding me back all this time without knowing it myself! What Is Happening To Me??? This is definitely not an attitude I wish to have or keep. I must have unknowingly put more strain on my husband to keep us all.

I have just had a look to find out more about this and what I can do to over come it and this is what I found on It is surprisingly common and is mostly a subconscious problem in that the majority of sufferers aren't aware they are holding themselves back  from great achievements. Yeah, I know how they feel!

Read through these points and see if any of them ring true for you.

If you experience the following thoughts or fears, you might have a fear of success on some level:
You feel guilty about any success you have, no matter how small, because your friends, family, or co-workers haven't had the same success.
You don't tell others about your accomplishments.
You avoid or procrastinate on big projects, especially projects that could lead to recognition.
You frequently compromise your own goals or agenda to avoid conflict in a group, or even conflict within your family.
You self-sabotage your work or dreams by convincing yourself that you're not good enough to achieve them.
You feel, subconsciously, that you don't deserve to enjoy success in your life.
You believe that if you do achieve success, you won't be able to sustain it. Eventually you'll fail, and end up backing a worse place from where you started. So you think, "why bother?"

Fear of success has several possible causes:
We fear what success will bring – for example, loneliness, new enemies, being isolated from our family, longer working hours, or being asked for favors or money.
We're afraid that the higher we climb in life, the further we're going to fall when we make a mistake.
We fear the added work, responsibilities, or criticism that we'll face.
We fear that our relationships will suffer if we become successful. Our friends and family will react with jealousy and cynicism, and we'll lose the ones we love.
We fear that accomplishing our goals, and realizing that we have the power to be successful, may actually cause an intense regret that we didn't act sooner.

These apply to me: 
If somebody is telling me how bad things are for them at the moment, I don't tell them about any of my achievements as I don't want to make them feel worse.
I get embarrassed about achieving anything and being complimented on it. I think people are just being kind a lot of the time.
I put off doing things for me in favour of the boys and my husband. I want to make sure they have everything I need first.
I don't think I have the ability to be highly successful at anything, I believe I am average at everything I do.
I get great happiness in helping my family achieve great things for themselves.
I am pretty confident that anything I succeed at will be fairly short lived leaving us at square one.
I really don't want to let my family down and would worry immensely about maintaining any such success.
It would be such a huge embarrassment to fail after so much effort to succeed.

The things that worry me are:
Not being there for my boys if they need me.
Having to work too many hours and not spend enough time with my boys.
Could I cope with the pressure of work as well or would I have another break down or become depressed again.
What will happen to the boys if my husband cant cope with looking after them.
What if I get a chance to work and enjoy it then have to give it up again. How would I cope with that?
If I try to be successful will I prevent my husband from achieving success too?

It's important not to give a quick answer to this. Take at least 15 minutes to examine the issues, and write down your answers to questions like these:
How will my friends and family react if I accomplish this goal?
How will my life change?
What's the worst that could happen if I achieve this goal?
What's the best that could happen?
Why do I feel that I don't deserve to accomplish this goal?
How motivated am I to work toward this goal?
What am I currently doing to sabotage, or hurt, my own efforts?
How can I stop those self-sabotaging behaviors?

These are questions I am seriously going to look at as I really need to overcome this hurdle so we can achieve success together, as a family. That is my ultimate goal. I have always wanted to be a role model for my kids, someone they can look up to and hopefully follow my example. With this in mind I MUST overcome this as this is not an example I want to set for them!

Do you have a fear of success? I hope you succeed in overcoming your fear too xx


  1. WOW I sat here reading this and tears came to my eyes. I self sabotage yes out of fear of success.
    I am going to copy your questions and answer these myself if not online then in my journal.

    1. I found it quite a shocking realisation to make but I feel ready to overcome it now. I hope the questions help, Rae and thanks for your comment. Here's to our upcoming successes :o) xx

  2. I think this post will speak to many people. It certainly does so to me. I self-sabotage a great deal for fear 'the gods' will take away my happiness, my success should I 'fly too high'. I'm more likely to share bad news than the good for fear that I may seem boastful. I'm not entirely sure this fear comes from but its there. I'd like to be better in 2013. I'll give the Q&A a go, here's to success in 2013.


Please leave a comment as I would love to know who comes too visit, thanking you muchly!