251: Is the Fear of Success Holding You Back? (It Was for Me)

We often hear about the fear of failure but there are so many more types of fear such as the fear of success that play a role in holding us back from our dreams. Listen in as I share Bible stories about fear, why it is important to face fear rather than run from it, and a few personal stories around how I am navigating my fear of success. 

Need support in overcoming fear to fulfill the dreams God has put in your heart? If so, apply now for the Onward + Upward Collective – spots are limited!

We often hear about the fear of failure but there are so many more types of fear such as the fear of success that play a role in holding us back from our dreams. Listen in as I share Bible stories about fear, why it is important to face fear rather than run from it, and how seeking support can help you in overcoming fear.



  • [01:44] Where Does The Fear of Success Come From?
  • [09:16] “Lord, Will I Be Able to Handle This Success?”
  • [16:28] Differentiating Between Pachad Fear and Yirah Fear 
  • [21:05] We Need Others to Help Motivate Us and See Things We Cannot See to Help Us Fulfill Our Dreams


[01:44] Where Does The Fear of Success Come From?

The fear of success stems from several different things, one of them being the idea of the responsibility that could come from the expectations that are going to be placed on us in this new role. It is always more comfortable to stay in what is familiar. It is biologically wired in our brains to stay safe to keep us alive so it is not strange to have a fear of change. 

The fear of success makes sense and we need to acknowledge it. We have been taught to push through and not listen to our fear but if we listen to and recognize it, it will diffuse it more quickly. Our mind sees fear as a threat and if we shut it down instantly, we are working against our mind. 

In the Bible, Solomon was named one of the wealthiest and wisest men who ever lived. But with his success came all kinds of challenges, including managing his kingdom, prosperity, and dealing with numerous marriages. In the end, his heart ultimately turned away from God due to idolatry. Solomon shows us that while we all often long for the cultural success we think we are supposed to have like money, fame, the job, the house, the kids, the marriage, the vacations etc. – true success is being known by Christ and letting Him lead. Soloman's story shows us that these unforeseen circumstances can come from success and we have to recognize this. 

Another reason why we may have a fear of success is our thoughts of failure. We may think “What happens if I do not succeed even though God told me to do it?” We may be embarrassed that something did not work out and we do not know how to explain our failures to the people around us. We do not want to be disappointed and fall short of what God has asked us to do which makes us want to stay comfortable in the same spot even more.

In the book “Playing Big” by Tara Mohr she talks about a term called “hiding”. She talks about how sometimes when we are faced with something scary, we may not admit this but we will find everything around us to keep us distracted. For me, I have to recognize when I am cleaning too much or checking my email too often that I am trying to hide. I want to remind you that this happens to all of us but we can get through it. 

Moses was a great example of this. He was a man that God used to unify the people of Israel and guide them to the Promised Land. He was an influential character yet he had all types of apprehension about his responsibilities to God. He did not know what this role was going to entail and he did not know if he could handle it. This shows us that even the greatest leaders are faced with the idea of stepping out and failing or not being able to handle success. We do not have to run from these very real fears, we can address them and then move past them towards success.

[09:16] “Lord, Will I Be Able to Handle This Success?”

In a previous episode, I shared how God has me in a season of fulfilling the big dreams that I have had since I was a little girl. I feel as if He is calling me to listen to Him with more courage and boldness as I go into this next level. I have been writing a book around managing emotions that is coming out November 2024 and with every step I take, I am reminded that this is very real. We just designed the cover, I have to choose what the graphics will look like, and I have been working with a team full of people to make this dream happen. 

This has brought up fears around being able to handle this success. I did not meet Christ until 19 and before that, I operated from a sense of trying to prove myself and strive to show everyone I was good enough. I quickly realized that as much as I strived to be the best, nothing was filling the void until I had a foundation in Christ and decided that I was taken care of. 

I have spent the last 30 years living through this but as a lifelong dream of mine is coming to fruition, it is bringing up a lot in me. I have to rely on God to keep me humble and keep me in a place grounded in Him. I never want anything I accomplish to bring me back to the place where this becomes my identity. As I am stepping into this, the very real fear of success comes up. I have to notice when my coping mechanisms of hiding, running, or putting things off starts coming up so I can ask God for the courage to be real about this fear of success. I need to address and move through these fears because people's lives are going to be changed by this book.

[16:28] Differentiating Between Pachad Fear and Yirah Fear 

A great concept around fear is the idea of pachad fear and yirah fear. These are two Hebrew words for fear in the Bible. Pachad fear is a fear that we need to pay attention to because it is a fear related to something being dangerous, like not driving on the freeway at 100 mph. Yirah fear is the fear of something bigger than where we are right now. This is the fear of success and failure in a nutshell. If we have not learned to differentiate between these types of fear, then we will run from it because we think that fear equals pain. 

When we start to differentiate between them, we see that we want to stay away from pachad fear because it is dangerous but when we are faced with yirah fear, we can lean into it because God is bringing us towards expansion. This is the fear that we sit with the Lord around, asking for His help in having the courage to walk through it and asking for an anchor in moving forward. 

If you have ever given birth, in the process of labor you can feel the difference in pain. You lean into the very real pain of labor contractions while also being aware and alerting someone if there is different pain within your body that would be hurting you or the baby. I have had three natural births and even though they were painful, I had to learn how to relax into the pain of contractions. This is exactly what we do with yirah fear. We are relaxing into the fear and pain that is there, knowing that God is guiding us and has prepared us for this moment. Knowing the difference between these types of fears and knowing when to lean in and stop, can be so transformative.

[21:05] We Need Others to Help Motivate Us and See Things We Cannot See to Help Us Fulfill Our Dreams

When overcoming fear, we sometimes need others to help walk us through it. This is where group coaching comes in. If you are in a season where God is calling you to be a better version of yourself whether that is taking care of yourself differently, setting up rhythms of rest, or making a dream happen, you are a perfect fit for the Onward + Upward Collective. You will receive one-on-one time with me and group coaching with women who are walking through the same things as you. 

We will have hot seat coaching and group calls every month where we will dive into mindset topics based on brain science and the Bible. We will also have Voxer threads, an app on your phone that you can use to talk or text, so you can ask questions and get real-time responses around certain issues. Sometimes we need extra support between sessions and this is where Voxer comes in. We will also have a Bible study element where we will be working through four to five Bible verses a month using my signature spiritual growth rhythm. These will be specifically related to the mindset obstacles we are working through. 

If you notice that you have this fear of success and want an opportunity to grow through Christ, I encourage you to apply now here. We are all growing and changing and stepping into what God wants for us for the greater good of all is important!



Need support for navigating new beginnings, creating new routines, or chasing divine dreams? Join us in the Onward + Upward Collective! Coaching is by application only and spots are limited (plus we start April 15) so sign up today.

“Playing Big” by Tara Mohr



248: Going through Life Changes (or Need to Make Some Changes?) You’re Invited to Accountability, Encouragement and Support in Group Coaching

250: What Character Trait Would Make Your Current Life Season Easier?