What It’s Like To Be Terrified Of Your Own Success

The possibility of success drowns you, suffocating you as your heart races at the mere thought that you might be capable. You find yourself afraid of failure, but downright terrified of success, as success could prove you worthy of the very opportunities from which you run.

You are painfully cognizant that success and failure are inextricably intertwined, so you resolve to settle for mediocrity, fervently wishing you could embrace a life of limitless possibility, but instead settling for an unremarkable life in the hope that escaping your fears will bring you fulfillment.

You convince yourself that life’s possibilities, the very opportunities that could propel you towards your dreams, are only for others, never for you. You believe that success is solely for the bold, the talented, and the capable, while simultaneously failing to recognize that you are talented enough to succeed. You are capable enough. You are enough.

The prospect that you are worthy of embracing the possibility of success terrifies you, so you self-sabotage, fervently working to guarantee your own failure. You spend hours agonizing about whether or not you are deserving of the limitless life you once imagined instead of working towards the success you truly deserve. You persuade yourself that you are no match for the thousands of others seeking out your dreams. You deliberately perform poorly out of sheer terror, the fear that you will have to admit to yourself that you are powerful beyond belief, successful beyond measure.

Failure soon becomes your muse, your art, your poetry. As you battle between your dimming wish for success and your overwhelming desire for failure, you paint your impressionable subconscious with impenetrable self-loathing. You scrawl false beliefs across your soul with reckless abandon, hoping that your disparaging thoughts will save you from the success you fear, but knowing deep in your heart that only faith in the possibility of success will heal your brokenness.

Eventually, you fail at the art of failure — the process you’ve carefully molded to evade the possibility of success. Your prized works of art shatter before you as you are forced to face your deepest-entrenched fear, the fear that you might be capable of success. Your success is dizzying, blinding you as you struggle to cope with the thought that maybe, you are deserving.

You hover at the edge of your blinding success, afraid to claim it, terrified to bask in the warmth of fulfilled possibility. Slowly, surely, you press forward, allowing glimmers of warmth to enshroud your soul. Your heart races in a fit of dysphoric euphoria as your fear of success slowly dissipates, leaving you with a profound sense of trepidation as your deeply-entrenched beliefs are gradually stripped away.  

You still succumb to a fervent disbelief that you deserve to embrace the possibility of success, but then, you recall the consuming warmth of your dysphoric euphoria, and deep down, you long to unconditionally embrace your own success. With every glimmer of warmth you absorb, you finally begin to believe that maybe, just maybe, you deserve to succeed.

Previously published on Thought Catalog.

Featured Photo via La Bella Instagram Tumblr

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