Wrestling with the Fear of Successful Freelance Writing

I have been dealing with some underlying issues that have affected my writing career recently. One of them is the fear of success. I was reminded of this when I came across a blog post about the fear of success and it talked about self-sabotoge and it really spoke to me. I must admit that there are ways that I have certainly self-sabotaged my writing subconsiously, and I am starting to realize why.

The fear of success can be paralyzing and distracting. I have found myself really wanting to succeed and yet I have really struggled at following through with my plan, purusuing the goals that I have set because I worry that I may not continue to be as successful as before or that if I do one thing well I will be exposed as some sort of fraud or someone will realize that I am not perfect and the clients will change their minds about me.

I am overcoming that fear now. I am ready to be successful, finally and I am not afraid of it anymore. I am ready to take the bull by the horns and just do what I need to do to make it.

Have you struggled with the fear of success?

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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I feel I’m going through that right now. I’ve been developing ideas for another book, but I’m afraid to just start it. I need to jump in.

  2. I too have struggled with success and the lack of success. Each requires you to change your mindset. Now a days, life is considered to be very complex when in reality it only requires that you change your mind. If you are successful then tell yourself you deserve it. It will occur before you even realize it.

    • Hi, Frank. Thank you for that advice. It really makes sense.

  3. I believe I can relate with what you write here. For years, I think I already mastered the art of procrastination, haha. Success can mean more headaches, responsibilities… and less time for me. I think I have to de-wire my belief.

  4. I did fear success as a young housewife in the 80s whose random submissions of one act plays and poetry received ecouragement & merit from various contests. I literally quit sending work out for fear it would change my family dynamics! Glad, I finally came to terms with it all.

  5. […] Daily Freelance Writing Tips […]

  6. I think that having a community to share can help alleviate fears.

    • I agree.

  7. I don’t think procrastination or fear of starting a project are fear of success, but just the normal hazards of being a writer. It’s fear, but not of success. This one is a little harder to pinpoint. I know that I’ve sabotaged my writing career, but I have never had a handle on it, nor any insight into why. I did it by not following through with people who could have, and apparently wanted to, help me get ahead. I did it by not networking, and not self-promoting or simply marketing my books. I’m at a late age and my career is probably not going to take any major leaps forward anymore, so I feel like I blew it. I know it was fear of success, but cannot for the life of me figure out why a part of me didn’t want to be successful.

    • Late age? I don’t think falling back on age has much to do with it. Some times we/I just think things will work out better if we do something else. I’ve written a milk crate full
      of screenplays,short stories and treatments that I never got around to showing. I just now realized that the hundreds of ads that I wrote when I was working in radio could have been making me money. 8yrs and 4 spine surgeries later I realized I was not going to be in the high percentage group Bowerman quoted that read the book, smiled then did nothing. Bust that move Marcy, you owe it to yourself. The worst that could happen is you won’t get any work and you don’t have any now anyway! Old Paul


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