Lifestyle, Mental Health, Motivational, Wellness

Achievemephobia: The Fear of Success

Achievemephobia. That is a word probably 99% of the population have never heard. I know I haven’t heard it before. I didn’t even know that fear of success was a real thing until I was talking one day to my best friend about one of her life goals.

Achievemephobia is often an unconscious phobia. I say “often” because I’m sure there are people who can recognize this fear within themselves. This phobia can affect all aspects of a person’s life – from financial success to weight loss success.

Symptoms of Achievemephobia

Now, just because you may have one or more of these symptoms, you don’t necessarily have achievemephobia. That is up to the psychiatric professional.

With that being said, here are some symptoms that I have learned about.

  • the inability to handle success and lose all achievements by engaging in self-destructive behaviors
  • refusal to set goals
  • closing a successful business or doing something incompatible with one’s good character or good sense
  • the need to escape self-awareness can lead to drug use, alcoholism or, in extreme cases, suicide.

(To read the source article, click here.)

Causes of/Reasons for Achievemephobia

While there are many variations to the cause of/reason for the fear of success, I will list them in no particular order.

  • The excitement of success feels uncomfortably close to feelings experienced when subjected to a traumatic event or multiple events
  • Many have been conditioned to believe the road to success involves risks (“getting one’s hopes up”) which threaten to lead to disappointment. A feeling of undeserving of success

(To read the source article, click here.)

  • Change itself is scary
  • The bar has been raised on one’sperformance levels
  • One will get more attention
  • One will question if he/she can do it again

(For other reasons, click here.)

Overcoming Achevemephobia

This exercise is taken straight from Psychology Today

Here is an easy exercise:

  1. Recall an event where you were successful or excited when you were younger, and notice what you are feeling and sensing in your memory. Stay with the sensation of for 5 minutes.
  2. Recall an event where you were successful and excited recently in your life, and notice what you are feeling and sensing. Stay with this sensation of for 5 minutes.
  3. Now tap into the sensation of a memory of an overwhelming situation. I suggest not to start with a truly traumatic event, at least not without a therapist’s support. Start with something only moderately disturbing to you.
  4. Now, go back to visualizing your success story. Do you notice a difference?


In the next post, I will talk about the fear of failure.

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