Fear of Failure and Success: Are You Struggling with Both?

success and failure written on chalkboard

Are you afraid to fail? Are you afraid to succeed?

For many men and women working through the detox and recovery process from alcohol and drugs, it’s likely you’ll face both of these challenges along the way.

As we’ve discussed previously, fear is an incredibly limiting and detrimental component to the recovery process. If you do not recognize your fear and deal with it, you may be at a higher risk for relapse. Don’t fight the fear you are facing, but recognize it for what it is. It is your brain, your emotions, and even your body coming to the realization that life is going to change and that maybe, just maybe, you may not be able to deal with that change.

The good news is simple – you can deal with the change if you tackle these fears head on. Let’s take a closer look at how each type of fear can limit your success and how to overcome your fears.

Fearing Failure: What If You Fail at Being Sober?

Sometimes, individuals go through a vicious cycle of worry. They see what lies ahead of them and they are worried. “What if I do all of this work to get sober and then I fail? What if I drink again? What if I can’t say no? Or, even worse, what if I fail at creating a successful life?”
The answer here is hard to see, but consider what would realistically happen if you did fail.

  • You might struggle through the detox process again.
  • You may find yourself losing a few friends or struggling to regain your footing.
  • You may even find yourself needing to choose a different path for your life.

Even if you tried and did not do well, recognize that the right tools and resources, like those we offer at The Ranch at Dove Tree, can give you the support you need to avoid failure. And, consider the flip side, too. What if you didn’t fail? What if you didn’t relapse or struggle going forward? Isn’t the opportunity to succeed one of the most thrilling and exciting things about recovery?

With our tools and resources, your determination, and the ability to overcome the fear of failure, you could succeed. Imagine what that might mean to you!

Fearing Success: Are You Afraid to Succeed?

There’s another side to consider, too. For some men and women, the thought of detoxing, working through rehab, and actually succeeding at recovery scares them. Others may wonder how can you really be afraid to do well? However, there is a real concern here, and it all focuses on what you believe about yourself and about your life moving forward.
Take a moment to consider yourself and your thoughts about your future. In the best situation possible, you detox and work through recovery to find yourself on the other side. What’s running through your mind now?

You may be thinking, “What if I do all of this and then my life doesn’t work out?” Or, you may be thinking even longer into the future. “What if I get through this but then I’m not happy? What if I don’t like who I am on the other side of recovery?”

To see through this fear, ask yourself what success means to you. Instead of setting your goals sky-high, focus on smaller steps at first. You’ll need to achieve these smaller goals before you can believe in yourself to reach those big, life-changing goals. If, on the other hand, you spend all of your time dreaming of a highly successful life, with no risks and happy, smiling people every day, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

No one’s life is simplistic or without ups and downs. Yours won’t be like that, either. And that’s okay.

At the same time, recognize that you can be successful. It is all about the amount of hard work you put into achieving your dreams and reaching those goals – big or small. Keeping that in mind, consider a few tips:

  • Establish smaller goals with clearly defined achievements.
  • Plan your life in stages. What does success over the next month mean? Six months? A year?
  • Dream big, but expect to work very hard to achieve those dreams as well.

Fear is a big part of the process of recovering from alcohol and drug addiction. You will fear many things – living your life, achieving your goals, being alone, and even being with your family again. But, recognizing that fear is real and is a part of the process can help you to work through those concerns.

Most importantly, realize you are not alone in this process. With the help of the team at The Ranch at Dove Tree, you’ll gain the insight and solutions you need to move past those fears and onto a healthy lifestyle. You can’t do it alone, but you don’t have to be afraid to try. Call our team to get started on your path forward.

The Fear of Being Sober: It's the Nagging Feeling at the Back of Your Mind - the ranch at dove tree - drug and alcohol treatment center in lubbock, texas

To learn more about our programs at Ranch at Dove Tree, please contact us today at 806.307.2003.

Fear of Recovery. Psychology Today. psychologytoday.com/blog/view-the-mist/201608/fear-recovery.
Overcoming Drug Addiction. HelpGuide.
Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery. National Center for Biotechnology Information.