I am a "successful" sales consultant for a major biotech company. Prior to that, I had a very successful six years as an officer and pilot in the military. I have succeeded in everything I've set out to do, which sounds great, doesn't it? The catch is that as I've grown older I've only attempted things I was sure I could do, or was naive enough to believe would be easy. Despite prior success, I am absolutely convinced that I am one of those people you describe as being afraid of success.By Russell Bishop
One thing I think plays a huge part in the psychology of fearing success is the fear of becoming relied upon by others. I know that in every success I've ever had, the number of people who became reliant upon me, as well as the sheer volume of things that also fell under my purview, increased immensely. That scares the hell out of me and I desire it less and less with each passing year. I believe it is the biggest factor in my choosing to avoid promotions and special assignments in work. I simply do not want people to continually rely on me (possibly for fear of letting them down, even just once? Don't know for sure).
I have the skills, the track record of success, and the experience necessary to take on much more, but I avoid potentially successful opportunities like the plagues of Egypt. I could tell you how badly this has affected me, but I would only do so anonymously, so I won't include it here.