Why Am I Afraid to Succeed?

How does the question “what if I succeed?” evoke subconscious fear?

Murray "MJ" Blehart
8 min readSep 22, 2021

This question has been plaguing my path for a long time.

Every time I work on a path I desire to follow — something happens that causes me to abandon it, stop giving it my full attention, and/or self-sabotage. This is, of course, not conducive to success.

Why? Why do I always do this? How come I am constantly getting in my own way? What causes me to get oh-so-close to success and then lose all momentum?

Fear. The answer is fear.

Fear of success? Most definitely.

Why would I fear success? Because with success comes change. And change is full to overflowing of uncertainty. It’s the unknown.

If I manage to succeed things will change. And somewhere, deep inside my psyche, I fear success.

For a long time, I lived my life in indecision. Frequently, I made no choices, hmmed and hawed about this, that, or the other thing. I didn’t commit to anything — jobs, relationships, homes — take your pick. For years, my theme song was U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.

I spent all my 20s and more than half of my 30s in this state. The grass was always greener, there was a better place to live, a more fitting job, a more meaningful relationship — nothing was settled in my life.

Why? Fear. Fear of missing out, fear of fucking it all up, fear of failure. Ultimately, fear of abandonment was borne of childhood emotional detachment after my parents’ divorce.

For a decade now, I have shifted my life to a much more decisive and stable approach. I don’t settle — I actively seek and find.

Yet I remain just at the cusp of success in my career. Nearly but not-quite-there.

Maybe examining this more closely will help find some answers.

What does nearly but not-quite-there look like?

Over the past 10 years, multiple aspects of my life came together. I finally committed to a relationship, a place to call home, being truer to myself, and real pursuit of writing as my career.

Murray "MJ" Blehart

I explore mindfulness, positivity, philosophy, & conscious reality creation. I love to help & inspire. And I also write sci-fi/fantasy. http://www.mjblehart.com