Psycho: our fear of failure actually hides a fear of success

What if we all made our wildest dreams come true? Surely many things, and that is why many people do not dare to try to follow them and prefer to stay in their comfort zone. A status quo which prevents us from moving forward and sometimes forces us to repeat the same patterns.

Justify his fear of trying something new with a fear of rejection or a fear offailure is a human reflex that many of us are prone to. But this tendency to self-devaluation is not the only reason that prevents us from acting, according to psychotherapist David Goldberg. Indeed, our fear of failure would hide, according to him, an even greater fear: that of succeeding. The question is therefore not “what if it failed”, but “what if I succeeded”. A terrifying possibility for some.

To explain this phenomenon, David Goldberg uses the words of his colleague Abraham Maslow: “We are frightened by our greatest potential (as well as our weakest). […] We tremble with fear, weakness and admiration in front of the possibilities buried in us”, he enacts to Psychology Today. Thus, if some people do not have great ambitions, it is not because they are not capable of them or that they are dumber than others as they might suggest: it is on the contrary a defense mechanism against a certain greatness that they could reach.

Success makes you vulnerable

By avoiding taking risks, we avoid exposing ourselves to new things that could frighten us all the more.. Indeed, whether it’s asking for a promotion or proposing a date to your crush – you expose yourself, you become vulnerable. Apply for a promotion, it’s one thing, but getting it and having to take on new responsibilities is quite another. The same for the date : what will happen if the person says yes? Even worse, if it goes well and leads to a real relationship?

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A logical reasoning, certainly, but above all essential to take into account in order to overcome your fears. By remaining in denial, it is impossible to work on what is holding us back. Maintain the status quo may seem ideal when it comes to facing your fears and anxieties, but it ends up stopping us from moving forward. In his song fear of failure, the Caen rapper Orelsan expresses himself as follows: “I’m afraid of being normal, of being average, neither too badly nor too well / I think I’m useless”. After all, what’s worse than mediocrity? By taking risks, we take the risk, precisely, of succeeding, but also that of failing. In other words, we are obligated to get out of it comfort zone and see what we are capable of.

A fear that can be paralyzing

The website psychologist.net defines the fear of rejection as a fearwhich can be “overwhelming and limiting” for some people who cannot overcome it. Fear of rejection could cause trauma or depression in people who are victims of it, as well as a lot of anxiety and stress. People who suffer from this fear would then be more likely to fail or be rejected, their fear being such that it almost becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, due to a lack of self-confidence . They are also more susceptible to manipulation and will be more easily frustrated.

To overcome this fear, start by seeing it as a fear of success rather than failure can be a first stepbut’help from a specialist may be necessary.

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Psycho: our fear of failure actually hides a fear of success


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