In Greek Mythology, there’s a famous story of a man called Icarus. His father made him a pair of wax wings so he could fly but warned him about going too high. Caught up in how amazing it was to soar through the sky, Icarus flew too close to the sun, his wings melted, and he fell. We can all relate to Icarus in the sense that we’re afraid of success because it means we could fall.
Fear is a natural feeling and helps us navigate through many situations in life. However, when you’re in addiction recovery, the fear of success can cast a shadow over your life. If you’re worried about not being handle to success, does it influence your addiction recovery? In this post, we’re going to break down the fear of success in recovery along with advice on how to push past it.
Breaking Down the Fear of Success
You can’t talk about the fear of success in addiction recovery without bringing up the fear of failure. The fear of failure can hold you back from healthy coping skills or activities that could help your recovery. For example, let’s say your friend invites you to join their community volleyball league. You’re afraid that you might be bad at playing, so you turn down their invitation, despite the exercise and social interaction that can help your recovery.
It’s human nature to not want to take risks and be somewhat complacent when it comes to anything that carries a chance of failure. Part of overcoming the fear of success, is getting more comfortable with the risks you need to take to reach lasting recovery.
Many people in recovery see going to a support group as a risk because they’re nervous about what other people will think about them. While it’s normal to have these thoughts, think about how realistic they truly are. After all, fear is great at getting us to automatically assume the worst-case scenario is a certainty.
Why Do People in Recovery Fear Success?
One of the most common problems when you see success in recovery is that it might not feel real. Whether you feel like you’re only borrowing the success or don’t deserve the outcome, it’s hard to escape the feeling that it might not last. Plus, the idea of potentially losing all the success you worked so hard for is too much to bear.
In truth, the fear of success in recovery comes from when it’s compared to failure. Success in recovery requires a lot of hard work, perseverance and dedication. Failure doesn’t, and when you notice the stark contrast between success and failure in recovery, the prospect of succeeding becomes intimidating. No matter what kind of personal success or growth you’re trying to achieve, the fear of failure will always be there.
How to Push Through the Fear of Success
In recovery, your goal shouldn’t be to get rid of fear completely. Ideally, you want to get more comfortable and familiar with the root cause of your fear of success so it’s less likely to give your negative thoughts momentum. One of the best ways to overcome the fear of success in addiction recovery is practicing self-compassion.
When you’re struggling with fear, it’s a common reaction to be hard on yourself and judge your actions with yourself harsh lens. Self-compassion is the act of accepting that it’s okay to be worried, scared or vulnerable. The next time you feel the fear of success creeping in, think about what you would say to a loved one who was going through the same thing. Then use that advice for yourself.
If the fear of success is still holding back your recovery, there are addiction treatment centers that can help you along your journey to lasting sobriety.
Explore Personalized Support for Addiction Recovery in Arizona
Fountain Hills Recovery is the top luxury addiction treatment center in Arizona. We know that there are times in addiction recovery when you feel like lasting recovery feels out of reach. Our expert staff is here to provide a safe and comfortable experience to heal from addiction, whether you need outpatient therapy or continuing care planning. At Fountain Hills Recovery, we’re dedicated to helping you reach lasting sobriety and total wellness. Contact us today to learn more about how can support your recovery.