Fear of Success?

We’ve all heard of fear of failure. So who has heard of/experienced fear of success?

Speaking to my agent, it sounds like he’s 99.99% sure my book will be published, and he’s going to start shopping it around to publishers as soon as the retainer is paid. Sounds great, right? Actually, I’m scared to death of what will happen if it gets published. I dunno why; just this vague feeling of dread came over me as I was thinking about what it would be like seeing my magnum opus on the shelves of my local Barnes & Noble. Like, on some level it would be a little overwhelming. On another level I’ve become so accustomed to failure that maybe I’m not emotionally prepared to succeed. It’s almost as if I fear success.

Looking over the above paragraph, it seems like so much rambling. It’s hard to put into words what I’m feeling, so…

…anybody have any idea what I’m talking about? Ever experienced it?

Please discuss.

rasta, you are not alone.

I myself don’t have this problem, but I strongly suspect that my husband does. He’s a musician, and a damn gifted one. So talented, in fact, that I cannot believe that I know him. I don’t think I should ever have met him. I should have been paying $50 for a ticket to see him play.

But something always seems to happen to get in the way of him gaining success. And try as I might, I can’t seem to get him to understand that most of those obstacles are *obstacles of his own making.*Things he actually can change, but he chooses not to.

Success brings change, and a LOT of people are afraid of change (not to say you are, but that is one aspect of the fear of success). With success also comes one thing that millions and millions of people fear–failure. Failing after succeeding at something you worked so hard to achieve can be devastating. IMHO, it’s a legitimate fear.

I think my husband is afraid of both of these things. However, he’s also clinically depressed. He’s on meds now, and that seems to be helping. He’s taken a few baby steps in the right direction, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

As I will for you as well, rasta. I wish you all the best! BTW, what’s the book about? :smiley:

Success brings a lot of change, both in the way you must live your new life, as well as the demand it brings that you give up lots of your old life. Fear of success is probably not an uncommon ailment amongst the intellect I’ve noted bumming around here.

With the almost-but-not-quite success that keeps one in the game but not on the frontline comes the reassurance of a game well-played that keeps the ducklings fed and slowly grows into a body of knowledge that may allow one to become one of the background maestros that we all know we can count upon to keep things running. Another sort is the consistent failure-with-lots-of-promise who we keep in our hip pocket for manny years until we finally give up on them.

I’d believe that there are two main inhibitors to pursuing success that operate on a large part of humanity: 1) it demands that you give up the familiarity of the neighborhood (speaking philosophically, here) you’ve known, and 2) hittin’ one out of the park begs you to do it again; i.e., you’ve set a standard that you must top continually.

I think I’ve fought, or am fighting, that battle, but I may be kidding myself (how many geophysicists can you name?). Anyway, sticking your head up is to be admired; good luck to you, Rasta; I hope it turns your way.

I like your posts; stay with us, man, whether you become famous, or not.

Wow! You people are so the best! snif

Actually, Persephone, I’ve thought about this and I’ve decided not to reveal what the book is about to the SDMB until (if) I get a contract. Then I’ll have to sit down with my agent and my publisher and see if a nom du plume is in order. I just want to maintain some degree of anonymity around here.

And *beatle, I’ll be sticking around the SDMB regardless. I harbor no delusions about this book making me rich or famous. A nonfiction book directed toward a niche market isn’t going to bring me John Grisham-esque fame and fortune. Best-case scenario: I make a few thousand bucks and get to do a book-signing at the Springfield, Illionis Barnes & Noble.

Here’s hoping! fingers crossed

Fear of success? I know wherefore thou speakethest.

I’ve go so many self defeating behaviors I could rent them out to the local psychiatric hospital. To list them out would be far too depressing (and prevent me from getting to work on time).

Best I can make of it is that you gotta forge on ahead regardless. Overcoming fear of failure is a snap by comparison.

The curiosity regarding your book is pretty intense. I’d take it as a personal favor if you’d hurry up and succeed. :smiley:

Oh goody! Those are my favorite kind of books! Hey, how about Ras T. Homie as a nom de plume?:smiley: