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Fear of Failure & Success in Money Matters
by Derek Ayre Acc Hyp. MCH(UK)

In my work as a therapist, I often come across clients who have fear of success. And what makes this condition worse, is that it is nearly always concealed from conscious awareness.

This condition is linked with fear of death/loss, which in turn is linked with the fear of the unknown, which is linked with the fear of change. And this can quite easily be reversed.

Fear of change = fear of the unknown = fear of death/loss. As the subconscious mind does not reason, these fears are all considered to be one and the same.

If we look at eastern philosophy, the reality of death is embraced in their meditative disciplines. For instance, in Zen, the student is encouraged to look at the cycle of birth and death and transcend his fear of it. Simply put, what is eventually realized, is that each moment of our experience dies to the next as it is being born, and this realization may lead to the emancipation of the student's mind from fear of death/loss, change, or the unknown.

The main purpose of our life, whether we are aware of it or not, is to make a positive difference. One of the ways in which westerners makes a difference is with money. The problem is that there is so much taboo surrounding the subject, that many have become really "hung-up" over it. This is not due to the fact that money exists, but due to our relationship with it.

If I was to ask someone, "do you want money?" The reply may be "Yes." If I then was to ask "why?" A reply may be, "Because I like it?"

Does that sound wrong to you? Honestly?

If it does sound even slightly wrong, it would probably be because of past conditioning and by merely acknowledging it, you would be on the path to liberating yourself from feeling that its wrong to like or want money. I am not talking about secretly inside your own mind, but outwardly feeling free to ask for it in your dealings with others.

So the first step to releasing any taboos we may have regarding money is to learn to open up to them. Discussing them freely with others is a great way to do this, but often somewhat embarrassing.

The next problem that generally comes into this weird relationship we have with money is the fear of loss. To our detriment, we often hold on to every cent and the old adage "you've got to speculate to accumulate" is ignored. To the subconscious loss = death, and we have a strong inclination to minimize all risk, but this is something often taken to the extreme.

The truth is that sometimes we will win, sometimes we will lose and that is a fact of life.

Financially speaking, what is really wanted and needed here is to look at what's at stake. If we were to lose as a result of the risk we are taking, will it really be so bad? But on the other hand, if we were to win... So a risk is nearly always needed especially in business.

The saying "everybody loves a winner" drags up the opposite, "everybody hates a loser" and that is what many of us want to avoid. If this is particularly strong in our minds and imagination, we never get to take the risks necessary to win.

What I am saying here is that you cannot create something without also creating its opposite. In your experience, you create the universe around you. I know it's already there, but you create your *experience* of it. So if you create light, you cannot avoid creating dark. Because no dark, no light. Otherwise, how would you know it was light?

So to create a fear of poverty is to also to create a fear of wealth. Fear of loss - fear of gain. So, when it comes to wealth creation, there is a ton of skepticism because of the risks, because of the fear of loss, because of the fear of being "hated as a loser". It's not always about losing the actual cash as people tend to waste more on frivolous things.

So what can be done about this?

The way to deal with any fear is to face it. But only face it to the degree that you are willing to do so in the moment of now, as you cannot face anything without being willing to do so. And the experience of willingness is either there or not. It cannot be forced. This is because willingness cannot be defined. One day you could be unwilling to face a dilemma, the next you can find yourself willing to deal with what you consider to be your worst nightmare.

So the final solution to your relationship with money is to become aware of all your resistances, observe them allowing your awareness to analyze any barriers that may be there, then act - when you are willing.

Related Articles:

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Create a Winning Attitude for Success 
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Derek Ayre is a psychotherapist & hypnotherapist (est 1976) and has helped many people, realise their goals and improve the quality of their life, face to face, in groups and on-line. He is also a Zen practitioner. Website:

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