• Davide Conti

Fear of success

Updated: Oct 4, 2019

Today I had an inspiring coaching session with a client that reminded me the importance of facing our fears.

The client recently had a series of professional interviews that didn’t go very well and so she wanted my help as a Career Coach in order to better perform in future interviews. After about twenty minutes that she was telling me about the situation, the interviewer’s questions and what went wrong, I asked her this simple question: "But deep down, what really prevents you from performing well in an interview?". She stopped, took a deep breath, and looking directly into my eyes she said:

"What really blocks me is that I'm afraid I will not be able to hold the role."

From that moment a shift occurred, and she started to come out and face her fears. Rather than working on technical and procedural interview techniques, she connected with the essence of her feelings and she had the courage to work on the real enemy that was sabotaging her actions: fear.

I admired her courage and vulnerability in bringing out and putting on the table the fears that are intimately deep-rooted inside her. That moment was very powerful and allowed her to see the situation from another angle, from a different perspective. And from there, she got awareness about where she needs to put her energies for finding a successful solution to her situation.

After this inspiring session I started to think about how many times I didn’t perform well or simply I didn’t move into action because of fear. And not fear of failure, but fear of succeeding!!  Yes. Fear of succeeding.

And I am sure I am not the only one who experienced that. How many of you did live a similar situation: giving up a project because you were scared? Scared of changing. Scared that you will lose your little area of comfort for a new unknown adventure. Scared that if you succeed this will require more efforts and more energies. In all this situation, we are our own enemy. It is exactly like when I hear my clients saying “oh that situation will be too good to be real”. They think they are realistic. What I think is that they are limiting themselves.

So, the important lesson I toke from this experience is concentrated in the 2 values with which my client connected during the session:

1-   The value of having the courage to face our fears instead trying to find other excuses for our problems. 

2-   The powerful value of being vulnerable in admitting that a big part of that fears comes from being scary of succeeding.

When we get clarity and we work on those two elements, everything can change. We shift our perspective and we become able to focus on the real problems affecting our situation. From that place we can find the resources and the energy we need to overcome and succeed.


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