The Fear of Success vs The Fear Of Failure

Categories Be Inspired

Also known as “Why I don’t want to send this email”.

I was told to email someone today for a job opportunity. It’s a great job, great pay, in my field of expertise, and an excellent challenge.

I want it. Or do I?

You see, it’s been 15 hours since I’ve been told to send the email. I’ve watched 20 YouTube videos (mostly of Gary Vaynerchuk), written a few blog posts (to be published before 2025), and I’ve read several articles and blog posts around the Internet. All these things require electronic devices.

What I’m really saying to you is that I’ve been holding on to my phone, tablet, and laptop all day. And I still have not sent the email.

Why?

I honestly think I’m afraid to get the job. I know, it sounds stupid and ridiculous. Hell, at this point, I don’t even know if I will get the job. All I’m emailing for is information.

But I haven’t. For 15 hours now.

Why?

Because I’m afraid of what it will demand of me. I’ll have to move countries again and I have moved so much already in my life. I’ll have to pack, find a new apartment, make new friends, find a new supermarket, get lost in a new city.

But mostly, because I’ll have to suck again.

I’ll be doing work that I have to learn for the first few weeks or months. And even though I know the basics of the job, I absolutely will not know it at the level that I will need to in order to do excellent work. And I really enjoy doing excellent work.

So what I feel is stress. Stress that this hypothetical job prospect will lead to me having to be the odd one out all over again until I find my place. Stress that I will suck at the new job. Stress that maybe I’m not good enough to even get it in the first place.

My stress comes from the potential of winning, of successfully getting the job. And that stress, that fear of success, is as real as the fear of failing.

5 thoughts on “The Fear of Success vs The Fear Of Failure

  1. I can definitely relate. I recently went through this but I sent the email. The interview process was a different level of stress. I almost didn’t do the interview! Then I got that email that started with ” Congratulations!” and I almost fainted. I almost didn’t accept the job. I had sleepless nights thinking about whether I would be good enough. Then on a Saturday afternoon I accepted. I realized that I had three weeks to resign from both jobs, three weeks to make sure that 17 students were ready for their exams, three weeks to pack up my entire life all while getting through a Supreme Court trial. I had three weeks to get out of my own way. I moved because I needed to get out of my own darn way for once and try to see in me what all my clients saw. I left my new home, my family, I gave up two very good jobs, I left my friends, my car and basically all that I knew since I knew I needed to meet the me I’ve always wanted to be. I’m lonely at times and I know nobody here and I get sad and I live in a small dark apartment and I depend on others to get around and I have no dogs to love on me. But I’ve met the me I knew was always there and I’m very happy and super proud of her. So send the email and apply for the job. Get out of your own way!

    1. I am so so glad someone else relates! But you are right, I need to get out of my own way!

      Thanks for commenting and being my very very first commenter on the site! It means everything to know that you are reading and relating to my content!

  2. Brilliant article.

    Question: are you living in my head? 🤔because this is me…I’ve failed to send a simple email/make a simple call on a few occasions since I moved to Germany, where I just feel like the standards here are much higher than back home. I detest failing and although it is inevitable when learning/ adjusting to something new, that fear, irrational as it may be, is crippling 😣

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