Overcoming Fear of Success

Today we look at overcoming fear of success.

I have encountered a lot of bloggers who have fear of success, myself included. These fears, or mental blocks, tend to crop up as we try to level up our business.

If you find yourself procrastinating on a project that you know will move you closer to your goals, you may have fear of success. Let’s tackle that shall we?

This post was originally published December 18th, 2018 and has been updated to be current with new information. This post may contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Full disclosure is here.

Welcome to Fearless Affiliate.

My name is Irma and I help new bloggers to learn the ropes. There is a lot to take in that first year of blogging, from choosing a niche to changing your mindset from worker bee mentality to that of successful entrepreneur.

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What Is Fear of Success?

Fear of success is a mental block that people have when they know they should be doing something but procrastinate doing it.

You see it a lot with bloggers who are:

  • Creating courses
  • Starting membership sites
  • Trying to start coaching

Mental blocks are usually rooted in childhood by people passing their fears on to you.

You learn from adults to be afraid of things: dogs, strangers, foods, and all sorts of things.

I had a friend who was afraid of dogs even though her family had a very large dog that was quite intimidating. My friend was also afraid of plugging in or unplugging electrical devices like toasters.

I do not think she knew why she had these fears, but she had them and plenty of others.

For many people, the amount of “unknowns” are overwhelming and can cause the procrastination.

I know that myself as I was taking a sales funnel course. The course creator has so many different scenarios for different types of funnels. It was overwhelming to to figure out what to do when creating a relatively simple funnel.

And I procrastinated for quite a while trying to “figure it out”.

I had a sneaking suspicion that my procrastination was some kind of fear of success, so I did what I always do…I researched.

So imagine my surprise when reading this article at The Mission written by Tony Fahkry.

Tony posits that fear of success is actually fear of hard work.


How did you feel reading that? My first thought was to call B.S.

Let’s look at the whole paragraph:

“For this reason, I believe fear of success is really the fear of hard work. It is what author Steven Pressfield calls resistance that stops many from achieving their finest work. Here resistance holds the individual back from writing the first draft of a book they’ve been wanting to pen for years.”

Okay, that is a bit better.

It is not fear of hard work, but resistance.

Resistance to what?

Resistance to the unknown.

Common fears That Bloggers Have

Here are some common fears of success.

  • What if I can’t deliver…my blog post, my course, my …?
  • I like things as they are and I do not want them to change
  • What if things change and I can’t cope with it?
  • That looks like a lot of work. I should think about it a bit more first.
  • What if I fail? What if I embarrass myself to my friends and family because I could not make things work.

Do you recognize any of these thoughts? I did. They are all fears in the evolution of a bloggers life.

Overcoming Fear of Success
PIN IT!! Overcoming Fear of Success

3 Potential Reasons For Fear of Success

1. Lack of Confidence

You don’t have to tell me that you grapple with a lack of confidence in your future success. I assume that you do because I do, myself.

If you are concerned about how successful your blog is at this point in time, go back to your original goals when you first hit publish button on your first post.

  • What were your expectations?
  • Did you set inadvertently set your bar too high for your level of experience or skill?

Shooting for big goals is admirable, but if you lack confidence you may not hit your target because deep down you do not believe that you can.

2. Comparing your blog to someone else’s

You can read income reports all day long, but they are not a realistic picture of real blogging. Most of the time the numbers do not reflect reality.

The income may be based on potential income that has not been verified yet.

Lesson: do not compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.

Sage advice.

Some people are on their second or third blog, they know what worked for them before, they got all their stuff set up before they published even one blog post, so bam right out the gate they made some money.

But that is not realistic for someone who is brand new to blogging and knows nothing about content management systems or which theme to use or even how to structure a blog post.

3. Procrastinating

Not on purpose. It is a survival mechanism. You tell yourself that you need to fix this or tweak that.

In reality you are afraid to move forward into the unknown.

Rooted in this is a lack of confidence (see #1 above).

And tied to this is the fear of using affiliate links, starting email marketing, and course creation which all require you to basically ask people for money.

Asking strangers for money is scary! So you may be procrastinating because deep down you know that you have other fears coming up if you proceed.

That makes it easy to procrastinate aka playing small.

Success Factors To Eliminate Fear

So how can we kick these fears to the curb?

As someone who has been working on this issue for a while now, I can confidently say that there are a few key things you need to practice, and practice daily.

To eliminate fears, you must fight them.

Procrastination feeds fear.

To eliminate fear, you must take action. It does not matter if things do not go as you want; look at the results, tweak the plan and try again.

As you keep trying, you will learn…a lot.

You learn what might work, what does not work, and which things can be adjusted to possible work in the future. #feedbackisgreat

And it is important to keep track of your wins.

If you write out a plan for the week and execute it completely, you need to write that down.

You want to recognize that you are moving forward and that you are building a foundation that will reap benefits. Do not be afraid to pat yourself on the back for getting things done.

Make a plan and work towards completing it, one step at a time.

1. Set goals

I read “The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran” because it resonated with me. I tried it Brian’s way and then found someone who tweaked the concept and made it easier for me to get behind.

That concept is doing 10 day “sprints”. Plan your blogging goals out into quarters as per Brian’s 12 week year, but work in 10-day chunks.

For me, that is 10 days of creating/updating blog posts and getting pins ready to be scheduled in Pinterest.

That leaves me 20 days per month to create money-making content (eBooks and eCourses).

Setting and achieving goals is the fastest way to success and a huge boost for your blogging confidence.

This is a straightforward and uncomplicated program for those new to goal setting.

When I first started blogging I read a lot on batching content. While I did not see the point in writing out a whole years worth of content, I do see the advantage to being better organized.

Create the free content that you want to present to your audience. Then use the rest of your time to create money-generating content. #win

2. Keep working on your authority

There are 4 basic monetization plans for a website. Of course there are more, but these are the foundational ones:

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Membership program
  • Coaching
  • Product creation

In my opinion, you should be focused on at least two of these: product creation and affiliate marketing.

Pick a model to start with; affiliate marketing is the easiest.

Come up with a plan for the year.

Choose how often you want to publish blog posts related to your niche, keeping affiliate products in mind as you do this.

Do your best to use SEO best practices for each post that you write, knowing that Google favors it.

It is better to publish less often if it means that your SEO is more on point.

Keep building out your website with helpful and useful content. Write down which topic you will write about and on which day you will write it. When you check your calendar or planner every day, do what you have written in it.

Related Post: Create Content Quickly

After you have 25 or 30 blog posts, check your Google analytics to see what is more popular with your readers. Focus your content creation on that.

Yes, you can write about what you want. However, if you want success quicker, write about what your audience wants to read.

And consider what your audience likes when creating products to sell.

3. Try using a Planner

Start writing things down in one place, including a plan of action.

If you have picked a monetization plan, work towards that in a meaningful way.

Block out your 10 days sprints in your planner so that each day you know what you need to do.

No guessing or time wasting. Put your head down and get it done. If it does not take the whole day to do, then you get some time off.

And don’t forget to write down your wins. I cannot emphasize how important it is to acknowledge that you are moving forward.

4. Focus on one project goal at a time

Hence, the 10 day sprint.

Writing down your goals for your 10 day sprint gives you something specific to work on.

At the end of the 10 days, look back and determine if everything:

  • Went well
  • Needs improvement
  • Should be eliminated and replaced with a new concept or idea

Keep track of any good ideas you get while working on projects and write them in a section of your planner or calendar.

5. Try everything and keep on trying.

What if I try everything and nothing works?

  • First, try something that is totally out of left field.
  • Secondly, try something so revolutionary that it scares you.

What is the worst that can happen? You have to try again?

It is nothing fatal to have to adjust your plan when trying something new. Just go for it!


What I learned about creating sales funnels is this: start small.

  • Create opt-in boxes and get subscribers. This is a beginners funnel.
  • Then create a free course and see if anyone signs up for it (= they’re interested in that topic). This is a step #2 funnel.
  • Finally, create a small paid course on that topic to see if anyone is interested and willing to pay for the information. An intermediate funnel.

When I decided that I had had enough of overwhelm, I chose to look at what I really needed to do. Not what I can do in the future (big fancy schmancy funnels) but what I needed to learn about today.

That turned out to be the basics. And now that I know the basics I can build out from there. Buh-bye fears!

I hope that this post has been helpful, and if it has please share it with your friends or on social media. Sharing is caring!

Still on the fence about starting a blog?

Grab my 5 Secrets To Finding Your Niche free report and decide if making money online is right for you.


I hope you enjoyed this post and will share it with others who can benefit. Be sure to sign up for my weekly newsletter of special offers, freebies and exclusive content.

Until next time, happy blogging and follow me on Pinterest!

-Irma 🙂

Overcoming Fear of Success

20 thoughts on “Overcoming Fear of Success”

  1. Wow. This was such a great read and I really resonated with it! I do think I am afraid of hard work, truely, I always give myself less work or if I have so many things to do, I ge overwhelmed and quit on ideas or just work in general. Thank you so much for opening my eyes, I think goal setting will really help me go outside my comfort zone and not be so scared of failure!

    • Hello Danielle and thank you for visiting us today,

      I feel you. Until I discovered “doing the worst job first” I was like that as well. Since trying to get my worst job out of the way first thing, I am actually getting a lot more productive work done on my blog. Who knew? lol.

      I am sure that goal setting can help. I wish you all the best in 2019!

      -Irma 🙂

  2. Hi Irma,

    Great post! Fear of success is definitely real for sure. I often sabotage myself because of both fear of success and fear of failure. Double whammy! Haha!

    I love your tips. Thank you. I have always used a manual planner/diary and only recently started using my Google Calendar. Wow what a difference. So much easier and I don’t have to keep looking for my diary!I am going to start planning my posts now so thanks for a great tip. Keep up the great posts,


    • Hello Kevin and welcome back!

      I am finding that my whole life needs a planner! I am not sure how I was getting by before. My words for 2019 are “organized” and “clarity” both of which I can achieve with the help of a good planner and goal setting.
      I wish you all the best in 2019!

      -Irma 🙂

  3. We talked about this in church several years ago. I couldn’t understand how anyone could be afraid of success, but I agree that it can really be the fear of hard work.

    I have a blog and am going full speed ahead, but I suffer these fears as well. Being a depression sufferer, a wife and a parent, I can’t always get to my blog the way that I want to – the way that the standard says that I should do it. As a result, I definitely compare myself to other blogs. I forget that they didn’t get their overnight, but I see their success and feel like such a failure.

    Sometimes I do lack the confidence. Just that. Plain and simple. BTW, I also hate mundane tasks.

    However, I like your tips. All of them, but especially Number 4. I really do sometimes get distracted by working on several things at once. I’ll be working on one project and then get excited about something else.

    Thanks for this. I will set the goals and use a planner (or a google calendar). Thanks again.

    • Hello Lane and welcome back!

      Yes, I am finding that a planner helps me to stay on track, or at least get done things that need to get done first. Before Facebook (I have a blocker on mine) or email, now I check my calendars.

      I also made the executive decision to not work every day lol. I do check things, but I do not sit down and write blog posts on the weekend. I was getting overwhelmed by working every.single.day on my website. All work and no play as they say!

      Cheers, and Merry Christmas!
      -Irma 🙂

  4. I could not agree with you more that a lot of people too often compare themselves to others. When you start to look and judge yourself by the accomplishments of others, you start to feel like you pale in comparison. You don’t. You are at a different stage than the person you are reading about.

    When you say “try, try again,” I think people should also try something different when they “try, try again.” If you want to have a successful blog, you have to innovate and come up with new ideas. Maybe the blog post isn’t detailed enough, maybe it needs to go deeper, maybe it needs to be longer. I do not know for sure, but you have to expand beyond.

    Thank you for sharing and I hope you make it a great day!

    • Hello again Alex and thank you for visiting us!

      I agree with you! There is a saying that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. These days when I fail, I start brainstorming the craziest of ideas because I know that deep down there is the sliver of an idea that I can be really successful with. Sounds crazier than doing the same thing over again, but it really works for me. Innovation is the key, that is very true.

      -Irma 🙂

  5. Hi, Irma.

    It’s great that you’re helping people move forward in running their online businesses.

    Fear and anxiety are normal emotions that come up when we’re trying to do something that it is important to us. The way I deal with it is to allow myself to co exist with it while I am doing a task.

    Good luck with your courses.


    • Nice tip Bob and thank you for visiting us today,

      -Irma 🙂

  6. Oh yes I am having most of those thoughts you listed, my biggest on is what if I fail?
    sometimes I am spending hours writing content, and then a thought comes to me that says, what if I am just wasting my time and energy on this?

    But I have set up a plan, I am going to give it my all for a period of time and see how it goes.

    hope I can one day get to where you are creating my own courses.

    • Way to go Rose! And thank you for visiting us today,

      I hope you come back and tell me how it is going. I fight it every day as well…how do we really know if we are successful or not? In my case, I have to stop comparing myself to others in their journey. Best of luck to you!

      -Irma 🙂

  7. Love your post Irma, took alot of notes and hopefully will be applying them, I have a new blog and I really want it to start doing well. Your tips are great, I have been checking your other posts for all the help I can get! Thank you!

    • Thank you so much Sahar and thank you for visiting us today as well,

      -Irma 🙂

  8. Hi Irma, I love this website the fear of success is very real. I myself have this real anxiety and have been meditating to try and get rid of this sense. Thanks so much for these important tips.

    • Hello Yolanda and thank you for visiting today,

      I appreciate that you said that. Like so many fears, I sometimes think that I am alone in having a bit of anxiety moving up to the next level with my blog. I wish you much success with meditating your anxiety away…I know it helps me tremendously!

      -Irma 🙂

  9. Hi Irma – Thank you for this post, really needed to hear it. I think it’s a struggle for all affiliate marketers when their initially starting out.

    • Hi Bhavik and thank you for visiting us,

      Yes! That and not knowing which way to go out of the vast number of choices. Affiliate marketing? Ads? Sell your own products? So many ways to go!

      Cheers and best of luck to you,
      -Irma 🙂

  10. Wow I needed to read exactly what you posted. Thank you it almost seems like your reading my thoughts. Its encouraging to realize that normal people feel this way sometimes. Its even more encouraging knowing that there is something we can do about it.

    • Hello Fernando and welcome!

      Indeed, I thought I was the only one who felt like this. I think that bit of fear is a motivating tool and we feel so much more accomplished when we push past this hurdle. Good luck to you and your future success!

      -Irma 🙂


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