Fear of Success or Fear of Failure 

Fear of Success or Fear of Failure 
by Colle Davis

Hand with marker writing text Stock Photo

Which fear is driving your life? Do you even know?  What must happen for you to tame and direct the energy in that fear to drive your success?

The beginning of my coaching career involved taking on anyone who came through the door with the money to pay for my time. I soon learned businesspeople pay better, dress better, and refer better prospects, so I focused on that market.

Much to my surprise most of my clients fell into two religious’ affiliations. Those who were Catholic lived in fear of success. While Jews were driven by a fear of failure. These two styles of fear were both destructive to lives and livelihoods.

When one fears success, they sabotage by nearly succeeding and then yammer on-and-on about how they have failed because of. . .. fill in the blank (marriage, bad breaks, family, money, stupidity, or any other handy excuse.)

  • When one fears failure, they sabotage by nearly failing and then state how they have succeeded because of. . . fill in the blank (marriage, bad breaks, family, money, stupidity, or any other handy excuse.)


Notice the similarities. Yeah, I did too. Here is the funny thing; the suffering and symptoms are the same. It is the fear that keeps people from maturing beyond self-centeredness, and impulse control, to become complete and caring adults. Even if they do not fail, the thought eats at them.

What did they need to change fear into energy to move them forward energy?

They need to see the fear as False Evidence Appearing Real, and it is all in their mind.

  • It is a feeling, and feelings are not facts.
  • Feelings can change in an instant.

When the old feeling comes up and you try to fight it, you make it stronger. When a feeling comes up use this method to relieve the feeling. You can use this process as many times as necessary. A funny thing happens after a few rounds with the lizard. Lizard/feelings show up less often, are less insistent, and have less to say.

To fastest way to get rid of a negative feeling is to use this process. It is called Hello Feeling.

Hello Feeling. [Pause]

What do you want to tell me? (No more than 2 sentences response) [Pause]

Thank you. [Pause]

You can leave now.

Open your eyes and notice the feeling has changed.

The process works because the lizard brain wants to warn you something is scaring it. That ‘IT’ may not be rational or ever real, but the lizard is scared.

The lizard wants you to hear or acknowledge you are listening to it. The ‘Hello Feeling’ is an acknowledgement, it is you saying to the lizard, you are listening (finally). Then in the pause, the short quiet space, you are listening to the fearful chatter of your lizard. The lizard is simple, it has a limited vocabulary because its job is so narrow, keeping you alive. It does not have logic, nor can it string together more than a simple sentence or two.

For more tips and tricks on success, contact me. Colle Davis cdavis@mycoach.com or 804-467-1536 (EST) or set up a free meeting via Zoom.