Before we talk about overcoming the fear of success let’s look at what success means. While it means different things to different people, let’s assume that it’s the conventional definition – to make money.
You may want to help other people, but you’re uncomfortable with making money. If your dream is to start your own business and eventually quit your day job, then making enough money is essential.
I understand. I have felt uncomfortable making money too. One of my biggest fears is being successful and letting it go to my head. I fear that the money will corrupt me, and I’ll forget all about God. What it boiled down to was this: I feared that success would change me into someone I’m not.
To overcome this fear, God has shown me two things. That He will not lead me into temptation (Matthew 6:13) and that I need to keep in constant communication with Him by asking, seeking and knocking (Matthew 7:7). This gives me reassurance that I am not in this alone and that God will protect me from me.
I’m not sure exactly what you fear, so I’ve listed some common fears of success and ways to overcome them.
Fear of failure: When you were learning to walk, you fell constantly but you kept getting back up. Soon you could walk. That’s because failing is part of learning. But failing is painful, which is one reason we fear it. The problem is that if you’re doing something, you’re going to fail. The only way not to fail is by sitting still. What helps you embrace the pain is a new perspective. That you must fail to move forward. In a sense, you fail forward. While we may fail, we can hold onto God’s word which He will never fail us (Luke 1:37) and that no word from God will ever fail. This brings comfort during uncertainty when we walk through the fear of failing.
Fear of the haters: Once your success builds, you will face opposition. There will be some people who just won’t like you. There will be some people who will question and criticize every move you make. This could be people on social media. This could be people in your own family. But it’s not for them to define who you are. God defines who you are, and you are His. You won’t do everything right and feedback from those you trust is important. But those who oppose you just to oppose you are simply not worth your time. Step back and look at all the good you’re doing. Remember that God is bigger than the haters. Step back and receive God’s blessing of success.
In God I trust and am not afraid; What can man do to me?” Psalms 56:12
Fear of not being enough: This fear can run deep in your bones. It prevents you from dreaming God sized dreams. What if I told you that on your own you are not enough? The good news is that God is more than enough “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13. When this fear creeps into your mind, battle it with prayer. God pleads with you to involve Him in your dreams. He can make you successful, but you have to do your part. You need to trust in Him rather than yourself. This quiets the fear of not being enough.
Fear of change: Change can be scary. But on the other side of change is success. Without doing new things, success remains out of reach. Trust God to renew your mind. Become soft clay in His hands so that He can mold you. Allow Him to change your thoughts and your emotions to be able to achieve success. He wants success for you. You can’t achieve success without changing your thoughts and behaviors, but the potter’s hands are gentle trust in Him and the change won’t be so scary.
Matthew 11:29 “…for I am gentle and humble and humble in heart …”
Does this resonate with you? How will you put these strategies into practice? My prayer is that today you see success for what it is, a way to glorify God; a path for helping other people. I pray that you gain a new perspective. That you see that your dream is more important than your fear and that God will help you combat that fear. I pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.