Fear is something that all people feel and there is a unique kind for each person. When it comes to progressing in life which one would you say is better to have between the two fears a lot of people feel, the fear of success or the fear of failure? Can a fear be a motivator to keep people pushing forward?
The short answer seems to be the fear of failure is the better fear to have. If it’s placed in it’s proper context, then this fear can be a healthy one instead of a detrimental one; which it can be if the fear is not harnessed in a way that will propel you forward.
Fear Of Success
The fear of success is one of those fears that limits you from displaying your best. It is a fear that many people struggle with and most of the time it’s more outside of their conscious awareness. Most people would not consciously say or believe that they don’t want to embark in a venture because they are afraid that they will succeed. If you ask these people if they wanted to succeed they would tell you of course they do.
The problem comes into play on the subconscious level. A fear of success can stem from multiple reasons or beliefs residing in the mind of people. Having the belief that once you are met with success, you will have many family and friends with their hands out wanting you to share the wealth, sucking you dry. This belief will keep you from pushing hard for success because in the end you’ll just be miserable having to take care of everyone else. Of course this may not truly happen if met with success but the belief will have you sabotage each opportunity that comes your way, for a subconscious way of protecting yourself from an unhappy life.
Other examples that breed the fear of success are holding the belief that you will be a prisoner in your own home because you can’t freely go into town without being recognized, the belief that you will lose a lot of your friends in the process, or the belief that fall from such a high position will hurt more than never climbing the mountain in the first place. All of these subconscious beliefs contributes to the fear of success and keep you from actually succeeding.
Fear of Failure
Having the fear of failure can be a better fear to have only if you hold the fear in the right perspective. Having this fear is what many successful people have, but they have a healthy view of it. Successful people use this fear to drive them to succeed despite the conditions.
Holding this fear with the limiting perspective will keep you from succeeding just like having the fear of success would. This fear can be crippling when it’s held in a perspective that keeps you from even trying for success. Believing that the pain of falling short will be too strong to handle keeps people from attempting anything. Other beliefs that fall within the fear of failure consist of things like experiencing the pain of letting loved ones down if you don’t succeed, losing it all, the pain of embarrassment because of failing, and being afraid of what “they” might say if you don’t succeed.
All these beliefs cultivate an unhealthy dose of fear of failure. This view of the fear cripples people to the point that they don’t even attempt to place themselves in the position to have any kind of shot at success; or they play it safe and follow a more proven course in life.
Having a better perspective of this fear can actually push you to work harder. Some people actually use the fear of failure to keep themselves in the arena longer than others around them. Seeing the fear as the main reason why you have to win can be used as a motivator. There has been successful people who have said that they keep moving towards higher and higher levels of success because they are afraid of returning back to what their life used to be. They actually use the fear of failure as the catalyst to obtain bigger successes.
Out of the two fears, the fear of failure seems to be the better one to have but only if you’re able to hold that fear in a perspective that fuels you to success instead of crippling yourself from attempting anything. Of course having a mind that’s more focused on high achievements and having a good dose of optimism is a much more healthy way of living; but since there will always be fears that we will feel, it’s a good practice to find how to use a fear for your own benefit.