For many people, attaining personal wealth and career success is a significant life goal. However, such goals can often go unfulfilled for reasons that are rooted in fear and anxiety. Here are just a few reasons why people often build their own barriers to becoming rich, and why it is important to move past those barriers to truly succeed.
1. Fear of Failure
Oftentimes, people who are capable of succeeding in a given field struggle with anxiety centered around the experience of failure. The thinking goes that if one does not take risks, one does not have to deal with rejection or failure that will result if those risks do not pay off. Unfortunately, this fear of failure often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: By attempting to mitigate failure, in other words, individuals end up letting life pass them by. It’s a situation no one wants to find themselves in, but which many people feel trapped by.
2. Fear of Success
While it may sound odd on its face, many individuals struggle with a fear of success. This fear is often rooted in another fear, namely that of experiencing change in one’s life. Whether we care to admit it or not, it is a truth central to human experience that people will often seek out a comfort zone from which they do not want to stray.
Like all fears, there is a grain of truth in otherwise irrational beliefs. Indeed, while it does have many amenities such as a sense of accomplishment and financial stability and freedom, success does bring about many changes to a person’s day-to-day life: Often called “tall poppy syndrome,” old friends and family members may treat a successful individual differently due to jealousy or perceived slights, and relationship dynamics can and will shift when success is attained.
3. Overcoming Fear to Reach New Heights
So how does a person overcome fears of failure or even of succeeding? Usually the answer lies in understanding fear for what it is, namely an irrational thought or feeling that lies behind the desire for improvement of one’s lot in life. Critical thinking is one step towards overcoming fear for this reason: If a person can weigh the rewards against the risks that they’ll be taking in order to succeed, they’ll often find that it is far better to take a chance on oneself than to let opportunities for success pass one by.
Success is never easy, but preemptively giving up is an almost certain recipe for unhappiness. After all, if a person risks nothing, they gain nothing, and the thought of what might have been is something that no one should have to face.
As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” Wise words indeed!