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In this episode, Joel and Antonia explore the reasons why people fear success and what we can do about it.

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In this episode Joel and Antonia explore the reasons why people fear success and what we can do about it. #podcast #fearsuccess #personalgrowth

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  • kate
    • kate
    • August 2, 2019 at 10:58 pm

    One thing you left out is the first question everyone should ask themself. What does success mean to me? Why?
    Success is different for everyone. Money, aside from meeting basic needs, with some left for fun, will not make you happier or bring you joy. Success in business is not the only success. Success in terms of business is not the only success you should be talking about.
    Thanks for your thought-provoking podcast.

  • Erik Bland
    • Erik Bland
    • July 2, 2019 at 1:36 am


    I do want to make one more comment to Joel and Antonia – you guys mentioned that you felt like you were doing something wrong because some other content creators have more viewers/listeners than you. While I do not have experience operating a business (and so perhaps you may disregard my opinion as inexperienced), I do not think that number of viewers, subscribers, etc., alone is reliable metric for success. It is important, but it is not the only important parameter.

    As an example, I am a dedicated martial arts practitioner, and the first school I trained in did a lot to attract and maintain members. But in doing so, it maintained an environment comfortable for those who weren’t really dedicated to martial arts. You could say the quality of the students, on average, was fairly low. I have since trained in other schools with fewer members and less influence, but the quality of training available to those practitioners was greater. The maximum capability of a student training in those schools was higher.

    I think your content is similar. I think growing your viewers is great, but I hope that you will not do it at a cost to the depth of content that I (and likely many others) currently enjoy. Joel mentioned that focusing purely on personality type would grow your business. However, I listen because you focus that content towards personal growth. You demonstrate that personality type is a tool for personal growth. Without that, I would probably not be listening to you.

    Thanks again for all of your hard work!

  • Erik Bland
    • Erik Bland
    • July 2, 2019 at 1:24 am

    Thanks Joel and Antonia (and team!) for sharing this. I am leaving this comment a little late, since I didn’t hear this video until it was posted to Youtube.

    I think at this time in my life I am struggling with this “fear of success” as well … hopefully I can use this podcast to find motivation to help me make some difficult decisions.

    I am at a position where I need to decide if I want to start technology business. I have the technical expertise to atleast give it a fair try, but I do have some significant fears around starting a business. I strongly agree with Joel and Antonia’s reasons that people fear success given in this talk (atleast from my own experience), notably:

    1) I am aware that success will be costly, and I don’t yet know if I’m willing to pay that cost (to be fair, I also don’t know exactly what the cost will be).

    2) I don’t know if I will like who I would have to become in order to be successful. Again, to be fair, I also don’t exactly know who I would have to become. I’m not trying to vilify success or money.

    I think these points both culminate in a fear that we may have, and that is, will success ultimately make us happy? In order to be successful, we fear that we will have to put in a lot of dedication and energy, likely over many years. We fear that we will have to change and give up ways of living that might be comfortable now. I think the biggest fear regarding this is, when we do the hard work, and maybe we get lucky and we’re successful 10 years down the road – will it be worth it? Or will we realize that it didn’t really satisfy us, and we’ve just burned ourselves out for nothing?

    Another point for me, and maybe many others here who are interested in personal development, is that there is always a struggle of balance between personal growth and achievement. The highest epitome of personal growth might be the monk sitting atop a mountain their entire life, and accruing approximately zero external achievement. I don’t really want that. But I don’t want to be the billionaire who gives up working on personal development in order to accrue influence and wealth – or aside from wealth, even just impact in the world, even if it’s positive. And this is not just a problem for me or others who work in areas unrelated to personal growth. Even Joel and Antonia, whose job is directly related to personal growth, likely often have to struggle with growing their business versus growing themselves.

    I think it’s a big struggle to balance external achievement and internal growth, and to be honest, I don’t know the best way to achieve that balance yet.

    Anyways, great talk again, thanks for sharing!

  • Eleanor
    • Eleanor
    • February 18, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    I forgot something else: fear of getting hooked on external validation and fear of subsequently developing more of an internet addiction than I have now!

  • Eleanor
    • Eleanor
    • February 18, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    Brilliant episode …. as always. You guys SOOOOOO deserve to do well and I’m glad you know it! Just ordered your book and can’t wait to get into it. :)

    What’s stopping me?

    1) Fear of success
    - excess responsibility and expectations
    - reduced privacy (I’m an INFJ and I have that conundrum of “I want to make a huge impact” vs “I want to stay at home whenever I’m off work because I already give so much of myself”

    2) Fear of failure
    - I’m a 2w1 or potentially 1w2; my perfectionism stresses me out and slows me down
    - I don’t want to let myself down but my standards are too high

    I’ve started small though, and while I build the habits I need to take things further, I’m also starting to work on my relationship/perception of money, my fear of “superiority” and how it will make others feel etc

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