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Success and Avoidance

Always having to succeed or never permitting yourself to be successful – both are a certain indication of avoidance. He who must always succeed (“The person who comes second is the first of the losers!”) gives up his freedom on account of an external event which he can only partly control and which rests upon the precondition of him remaining ‘forever young’. As such striving for success is so positively regarded in our culture, such avoidance strategies are not so easily identified as problematic in counselling sessions, such as coaching, which tend to be geared towards successful people. However, those who make themselves dependent upon success, must never weaken and are thus under constant stress, i.e. in a subtle or less subtle way they are always fearful. Usually this causes illness. Those who never permit themselves to be successful, also have reasons for this: fear of envy and jealousy, fear of offending others, fear of being more successful than the parents, fear of discovering their own incompetence, fear of doing something wrong, to mention only the most important ones. Here it is important to process these fears, and not to try to help the client gain success.

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