Fear of Success vs. Fear of Failure.

American media mogul Oprah Winfrey (credit: wikipedia)

There are two types of fears – fear of failure and fear of success, though they are two different factors, fear is common to them all which makes fear their common denominator.

Now to understand the two phenomena we need to understand the subject ‘fear,’ and fear is an emotional reaction to an external or internal stimulus which births or trigger anxiety, self-doubt, phobia, lack of confidence, incompetence, procrastination and postponement, limitations … and all these add up to bring about ‘zero attempt’ social loafing, or woeful performance.

Fear of failure prevents you from starting a journey or embarking headlong on a noble path and it’s because you feel consciously or subconsciously that the results will come out negative and make you feel bad, bitter, dissatisfied … so you don’t want to invest your time, resources, heart into the venture. Incidentally you need some crucial variables to succeed in love or life and lack of focus, limited courage, lukewarm commitment and consistence … is failure before first attempt.

Truth be told failure is bitter than bitter-leaf; sour than lime, hotter than fire and sure it affects our self-esteem, self-worth and many people would rather maintain status quo than sink in despair, self-pity and regret. There are many couples who are divorced and secretly nurse the idea of reconciliation but fear the outcome.

Their many fears:                                                 

“If we reconcile and our ‘irreconcilable differences’ come up again and we separate or divorce one more time is that not telling the world that “We’re ‘The 2 Idiots’ sequel of Bollywood movie The 3 Idiots?”

“The press and the public, papers and tongues will open old wounds and add insults to our new injuries ….”

“Society will label us; history will judge us … fools will call us fools ….”

Now did you know that smart and wise people are deep thinkers and yes they are usually the last to call people stupid? If you believe your marriage can work go for it, but be determined to make it work. Don’t forget it’s your life not theirs!

Fear of rejection in love is fear of failure and many times men suffer from this and as usual it stops them from approaching (for friendship or intimacy) the woman they so much desire. Conversely fear of failure peculiar to women in intimacy is fear of rejection most especially after a man is no longer showing interest … and so the Eve in them fear similar fate befalling them and hence distance themselves from eating the lunch they had earlier served Steve.

Consequent upon this they suffer lovelorn. Yes many times they had fallen in love but as specialists in pretense they keep using leg over and the poor man keeps suffering hangover till the alcohol in love dissipates completely. 

Fear of failure reduces input. If someone gives 70% of his resources – time, energy, money … to a venture yet it fails eventually what do you say of someone who invested just 40% or didn’t bother trying?

Failure after attempting something is ‘credit’ not trying at all is failure. Every attempt at something in life will fetch you some things – lesson: experience, hindsight, skills and if it sails through then it could mean success, love, goodwill, money, fame, fortune ….

Fear of failure is first failure – in other words it’s failure in fantasy which spills over to reality but don’t forget that every failure is the last bus stop and the next bus stop is success.


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