Warning: This Article May Cure Your Fear of Success

Time to get on your horse and succeed!

Are you following your dream or not?

Take a second and ask yourself, “Why am I not pursuing my dream today?  Though I have an idea of the life I’d like to live, why am I not doing anything about it?”

You think of an answer?  Write it down.

If you have more than one, write them all down.

Now look at your list and cross them all out – and instead in BIG letters write: SUCCESS.

I’m willing to bet that most (if not all) of the reasons you wrote on your list were genuine fears.

  • I don’t have enough money (fear of being insufficiently funded to succeed)
  • I’ve never done this before (fear of uncertainty)
  • What if I do it and it doesn’t work (fear of failure)
  • I’ve tried before and it didn’t work.  I’m just not meant to do it (fear of repeat mistakes/lost reputation)

We all have fears.  It’s our mind’s natural way of telling our bodies that, “Hey, what are you thinking about…we’ve never done before.  Be careful with this.  We just might fail.”

So why cross them out?

Because you can manipulate or even avoid altogether the fears you have listed above!

You don’t need millions of dollars to start a successful business.  You can also start viewing mistakes as learning opportunities rather than failures – fuel for your fire rather than an extinguisher.

But there is one fear that we have to hit head on to achieve our dreams.  One fear we cannot manipulate or avoid.

That fear is that we will succeed!

There’s a genuine fear when everything is new, when we have to learn so much more than we know now, we are in complete control of our lives (in some situations, we have control over others’ lives as well.)  That’s an intimidating thought.

When I started Coffee & Warm Showers, I had a dream of making a difference – and of helping others live the lives they wished they had.

But when I discovered people actually found my advice useful, that’s when the fear of success came in.  I wasn’t necessarily afraid that I wouldn’t have what it takes to help anyone or that no one would even ask for my advice.

Rather, my fear came from the thought of being successful.  What happens when people are actually willing to pay me for my advice?

What if this proves to be so successful that I have to start saying “no” to someone?

The fear of not having what it takes to be successful or making mistakes are genuine and true.

However, the fear of success, growth, and the unknown is really what shuts us down from achieving our dreams.  But in order to actually do what you love and live the life you’ve always dreamed of, you have to overcome this fear and take action.

Remember, feel the fear and change the world anyway.

“Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy and carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the ‘someday I’ll’ philosophy.” – Denis Waitley

A Challenge For You:

1. Write down a BIG goal of yours.  Something that if your future self from 10 years from now came and showed you, you’d be ecstatic.

2. Similar to what we did above, write down your fears.  But this time, only write down fears you know you will have to face head on.  Remember, fears like not having enough money or making mistakes are not fears you have to overcome.  You can simply change your business model or your mindset to get through those.  The only fears you have to overcome to be successful are those that are tied to success itself.

3. My advice now is to put those fears in order.  Easiest to most difficult.  Things that need to be done first to last.  However you would like to order them, but the next move you make will be the most critical in succeeding.  Take the first thing you wrote down and do it.

To get something you have never had before, you need to be willing to try something you have never done before.

Step into the unknown!

Don’t let the one thing you really, really want to scare you away.

It’s time to get on your horse and make your dreams come true.

Eric Lunsford writes at his blog Coffee & Warm Showers where he has one goal: to help others wake their true self up and transform into the person they’ve always wanted to be.

Image courtesy of familymwr

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  1. Cathy | Treatment Talk says

    Hi Eric,

    Your post is so timely and everyone suffers from this fear at some point in their life. As I read, your words reminded me of a quote from Marianne Williamson:

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
    Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure….”

    Great advice to write down your goals as well as your fears and to work through them. We so often underestimate what we have to offer. I love your blog title, very unique. Thanks for an inspiring post.

    • Eric Lunsford says


      Thanks for the kind words. I LOVE that quote from Marianne Williamson and it’s so true! We often find ourselves so inspired and ecstatic about starting something new, but when the time comes to do it, we fall victim to “success paralysis.”

      If nothing else, writing down your fears allows you to acknowledge that they are there. Coming back to them at a later time, you’ll likely realize they weren’t that big of a deal. 🙂

  2. Great post Eric!
    I’ve lived with the fear of never being good enough so, no matter how much I did, “success” seemed elusive. I’m finally learning that I am enough just as I am. I’m learning to celebrate my successes, no matter how small.

    When I started my blogging adventure a little over a year ago, I almost let the fear of not knowing anything about it stop me. I knew absolutely nothing about web sites or having an online business. With no money to devote to the project (another fear), I learned how to do it all myself. Yes, it took longer but today I’m getting paid for putting together someone else’s site. And I know how to fix most issues with my site without having to rely on paid consultants. What started out as a ball of fears has turned into a ball of opportunities.

    I completely agree that writing out our fears gets them out of the vicious cycle in our heads and helps us to label them and move past them.

    Thanks for the great advice!

    • That’s great, Paige!

      You’re right, fear is simply an opportunity we’ve never had before. If we hit it head on and capitalize on it, it becomes one of our greatest strengths.

      Keep up the amazing work on your blog!

  3. You can’t chase a dream if you don’t have one.

    I believe many folks don’t take the time to dream anymore, therefore they don’t even know what they’re missing. Good for you to challenge others not only to dream but to deal with their fears in the process. I like your style.

  4. Now this is one big eye-opener for me. You really hit the nail right on the spot. We are afraid of the things that comes with success.

    • It’s true, but I’m glad it opened your eyes a bit, David. Procrastination is rarely due to fear of failure, but rather fear of what to do next if our first step is a success.

  5. Christopher Frawley says

    Thanks for the great ideas here.

    My young daughter will often ask something like “what if I can’t do it?” – to which I will often answer “what if you can?” and a smile will immediately appear on both of our faces.

    Thanks so much for the reminder to imagine what if it DOES work out?

    • Ah, so awesome Christopher! I wish everyone turned that question around like that. People, companies, governments. We often forget to ask ourselves what if it DOES work out, then what?

      Thank you!

  6. Fran Sorin says

    Fantastic post. You have a great voice and style of writing.
    When I moved to israel 3 years ago, I was scared to death to be in a foreign country, not knowing the language,the customs, etc.
    Now….I feel at home and have no fear about living in such a threatened area. The differences? I laugh a lot.

    Fear of success is a big one. Thanks for hitting on it in such a focused and informative way. Fran

    • Fran,

      Thanks so much for the kind words. You’re move sounds like an enormous one and you should be proud! The great thing about such a big, scary step like that is when you make it through it so many of the smaller hesitations you had in other aspects of your life diminish.

      Taking chances is what life’s all about!

  7. A very inspiring post. The fear of failure is seldom linked to any reality. Fears are always of something that might happen, not of something that is happening or of a situation you have to deal with right now. Bringing your attention into what is happening around you is the first step on the road to success.

    • Yes, yes, yes! Thank you Robin.

      You’re exactly right. Fear is based off of past and future, but not in the present moment. You have complete control of your actions right now and fear has none. Unfortunately for many of us, we let that fear dictate what we do.

      I actually JUST wrote about this exact topic in my latest post on my blog.

      Thanks for pointing this out as well!

  8. we fear too much. i was too fearful of losing. but in losing we gain more
    thanks for the inspiration
    Noch Noch

    • Noch Noch,

      Very true. The only true failure (or loss) is when we give up entirely. If you try something new and lose it is most definitely a learning experience. The bigger picture is what matters the most.

      Thank you for your comment!

  9. What an excellent post that calls people to action. I have never seen the quote by Denis Waitley before. thank you for sharing. His statement is all too true and I am reminded how I have procrastinated in the past. Looking back now, I consider these times as learning moments. Onward!

    • It’s an excellent quote, Ajen. I think it speaks volumes to how most people live their lives, unfortunately. Life is precious and we only get it this one time around. If we’re choosing to sit and wait for “one day” that day may never come. Great job on learning and moving forward!

  10. Sean Moore says

    Hi Eric…I liked your blog. I agree you need no fear to be successful! I would like to add that it’s normal to be scared, uncomfortable, or unsure about a new venture. The key to overcoming fear is ACTION. In other words, it’s OK to be scared just do it scared. I look forward to following your blogs. Best, Sean

    • Sean – Thanks for the kind words! You’re right, there will always be fear. In fact, I will venture out there and say if you’re doing something and you don’t have even an ounce of fear then it’s not worth doing. The fear is what pushes you along. You just need to learn to harness it and use it to motivate rather than debilitate. I just read a great equation from http://www.joelrunyon.com about boredom and adventure which I think relates very well:

      Boredom = Fear > Courage
      Adventure = Courage > Fear

      Thanks again for your input!

  11. Hi Eric
    Love how you are calling us to action to move past our fears into success. Yes making a difference is what can move us forward towards success. When we just touch one person we beging to create that ripple that creats change 🙂

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