Kevin Hogan

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Fear of Success? Can anyone truly be afraid of succeeding?

Fear of SuccessCome On … The Fear of Success?

… How can anyone fear success?

I mean, everyone can understand a fear of failure, after all, no one wants to be a loser…

But, fear of success?!

Could people really be afraid to achieve?

How is it possible?

Try This Experiment to Test Your Fear Own of Success

I want you to do a little time-line test with me right now.

Stand in front of a mirror, look yourself in the eye and tell yourself that you truly want to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself.

Got it? Now, go back and sit down … Imagine you have achieved everything you’ve planned.

You are at the top.

How does it feel?

If you give me a bland answer like, “It feels good,” I swear no Coffee with Kevin Hogan next week!

Think about it.

  • Are you really happy?
  • Is your life truly complete? Do you FEEL successful?
  • Are you lost and worried that there is nothing left to do, nowhere to climb?
  • Are you lonely, afraid?
  • Is this what you truly wanted?
  • Or, do you feel fearful that you made a mistake in your life?

A lot of times, we are too stubborn to admit that we are afraid of success or of what it will bring us. So we lie to ourselves, thinking that our happiness is up there on the top of the hill.

But, what if it’s not?

What are the five causes people have to fear success and here is how to overcome them?

Five Reasons Why People Have A Fear Of Success

Read the list. Look deep down inside yourself and analyze if any of them sound true to you. Pay special attention to the reasons you deny especially hard! Are you trying to prove anything to yourself or me?

Remember, I don’t know what’s going on in your mind, you only think I do!!

Sometimes things aren’t what they appear to be.

Reason #1: It Will Change Me

“If I achieve that goal, I won’t be who I am, I’ll change somehow … I will lose my personality.”

can you really be afraid to succeed?Very often people are afraid that if they reach their goal, they will have to stop being who they are and start playing someone else’s role.

Underline that. Remember it. Read it again.

It’s big.

I was in Bulgaria in November. I had a conversation with one person who said that a lot of people in their country tie success into corruption and criminal activity!

You must realize that you will have to change. But it doesn’t mean that it will be some freaky change. Life is a constant motion, a constant change. It throws down a challenge “Change or get left behind.”

That’s what keeps us growing, moving forward, getting rid of the obstacles that slow us down.

Is someone asking you to turn into an evil, bloodthirsty monster?

You can be a wonderful person, both spiritually and materially wealthy and still be tolerated by the majority of the people out there.


Success is often tied to all kinds of weird beliefs that have been squished into our minds. But the fact is, that achievement is something that is very good indeed and in all candor … do you want your kids to be successes … or failures?

Then, why not yourself?

Reason #2: I Don’t Deserve It

“I’m not worth it. I don’t deserve to be successful.”

This problem is the biggie.

First of all, you have to be honest enough with yourself to admit that you do have a challenge with your self-worth, yes?

… and can you admit that you think you don’t deserve to be successful. Most of the time, people aren’t that honest with themselves. Self-deception is the easiest form of deception there is!

People hide the true reason behind many little, unimportant reasons, and the feeling that “I am not worthy!” is hiding behind closed doors.

You can’t treat the cause if you can’t find it. But I want you to realize that being straight with yourself is one of the most important factors of achieving anything important in life.

There are many other reasons for Fear of Success caused by a crummy self-image.

One of them is a lack of belief in your own ability to sustain progress, and maintain the accomplishments you have achieved in your life.

Sometimes you think, “dang, I think I just got totally lucky …”

Another: The belief that there are others out there who are better and smarter than you, who will replace or displace you (and let me tell you that you are RIGHT!) There ARE people better and smarter than you and there always will be, but there are also millions of people who don’t hold a candle to you!

What’s the third reason?

Reason #3:

“It’s impossible!”

What can you do if you don’t believe it is possible? Use the Palladium Rule: (Platinum and Gold are already taken…)

Palladium Rule: “If someone else has done it, so can I!”

Fear can be the genesis of successAlmost everything on this planet has been done by someone else already at one time or another. I’m sure there is a case similar to yours.

Usually achievement isn’t rocket science.

Analyze what you have to do to achieve your goal.

  • What do you have in common with the person who has already achieved a goal similar to yours?
  • What else do you need to have or need to change about yourself?
  • What obstacles are in your way and how can you overcome them?

Once you do all that, consider 80% of your job to be done.

The key to your success is following someone else’s example while making your contribution unique.

People use the same Interstate Highways every day to get to different places in the same town….

You just have to free that great thinker, great winner, great fighter.

I want you to realize that it is not a question of the actual possibility or impossibility of your goal. It is your personal belief. There are people (myself, for example 🙂 who will beg to differ with you.

And that is just fine and dandy!

Reason #4:

“I can’t do it!”

Remember when you were little, you used that excuse a lot.

Every time the task didn’t really sound appealing to you (like your math homework or cooking, making your own breakfast), you pulled out that, “I can’t do it” excuse.

It literally means, “I don’t know how to do it” … sometimes, “It requires too much practice to get good at ‘it’ so I can’t do it” …

And most of the time, it worked!

Someone would help you solve a math problem or would cook your breakfast for you. Today? … still using the same excuse, hoping that some other person will do all the hard work for you?


“I can’t do it!” results from a lack of knowledge or efficiency. That problem is easily fixed. You can gain the knowledge and teach yourself how do “it.”

It is quite simple. Unfortunately, most people don’t look at it that way. They see their inabilities as a sign from above: “If I can’t do it, it is meant to be this way”.


What would happen … if, for a day, you believed that you CAN do it as strongly as you believed you can’t?

Now that’s an interesting thought … problem is, in that day, you’d probably get over the hump and do it…

And, Reason #5?

“The goal is not worth my effort.”

Fear of SuccessBear with me for a moment….

What if the goal does not sound exciting to you?

For example, you know enough about computers to find a good job. You can learn more in this area and even expect to get a raise and a better position.

It will take about three years of your life, but you know you can get there. You know you will be making about $120,000+ a year; you will have a nice car and a nice house.

The problem is that you hate the idea of spending most of your day in the stuffy office, sitting in front of the computer screen.

You hate the idea of not being able to spend any time with your family, but, for their sake you are ready to do it.


Back to the drawing board to find another goal that is both worth your effort and will make you happy.

It’s simple, why waste years of your life doing something you don’t like, when you could be doing something that you enjoy or you find rewarding or heaven forbid, both?!

There is a quick way to check if you really want THAT kind of success.

Time for pause…

Do This Exercise

Sit or lie down comfortably. Close your eyes and imagine that you achieved everything you planned on.

If your goal was to make $50,000 a month, picture the house you will be able to afford making that money, picture the car you will be driving, picture the faces of your friends, the surprise or proud look on your parents’ faces.

How do you feel? Are you truly happy?

If not, maybe you shouldn’t be wasting your time on something society wants you to have and concentrate on the things that make YOU happy.

Here’s a reality check:

EVERYONE has a fear of something in life.

But here’s the thing. There’s no reason to fear the good stuff …

Reserve your spot now!

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Author of The Psychology of Persuasion, Irresistible Attraction, and The Science of Influence, Dr. Kevin Hogan is trusted by organizations, both large and small, to help them help their people reach their personal peak performance and maximize influence in selling and marketing. Kevin is an internationally admired keynote speaker and corporate thought leader. In Coffee with Kevin Hogan, he shares his research, observations, and how you can apply them in your life – both in business and at home.

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