Sometimes people have fear of success, i. e. get agitated and nervous, when, for example,

  • some important person behaves exactly like they wanted (and they didn't expect it), or
  • they achieve a minor success, which indicates that their plan is working.

Think of a small business owner, who creates a successful advertising campaign and then gets upset about too many clients.

What actionable recommendations (protocols) does Buddhism in general and Diamond Way Buddhism in particular have for people, who want to overcome such fears?

  • I'm not sure I understand your definition of "fear of success". Do you mean, fear after a slight success? Is it the same thing as fear of eventual failure? Are these ('Causes') better examples of what you were asking about?
    – ChrisW
    Jan 20, 2016 at 14:42
  • No, it's not fear of eventual failure. Let's take the example of that small business owner. Let's say it's a hot dog stand. All at once, there are more customers than usual. Right action: Either expand the business - server more customers (hire additional people, open a second stand nearby) or offer premium product at a higher price to fewer customers (high-end hot dogs, particularly healthy hot dogs, whatever). Wrong (self-sabotaging) action: Stop that campaign that brought him or her additional business, or do a stupid mistake (e. g. bad service) so that new customers go away. Jan 20, 2016 at 15:01
  • Another manifestation of fear of success may be procrastination. Often, the only thing someone (blogger, author) has to do to achieve success is to churn out as much content as possible. If they don't do it (despite having a lot of time and obvious talent for that thing), it may be because they fear to be successful. Jan 20, 2016 at 15:10
  • Do any of the 'causes' I referenced ring a bell: might these be reasons for the 'fear' you're asking about?
    – ChrisW
    Jan 20, 2016 at 15:13
  • One of them probably applies to me, namely this one: Fear of the sense of responsibility that often attends recognizing our own greatness, talents, potentials. But it's not only responsibility, but also the fear of collapsing because of a lot of work. Or the fear of wasting a unique opportunity because of weakness or stupidity. Jan 20, 2016 at 18:36

4 Answers 4


Theravada Buddhist answer, based in the Burmese Method.

It is still just fear, no matter what context it is experienced in.

It's an impersonal phenomena that arise and cease on its own accord, without it being amenable to ones will.

It should be observed and noted, in order to learn about the phenomena, i.e. to see its characteristics of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and uncontrollability.

When one truly sees that feelings and emotions cannot be controlled, one begins to let go of them. They are just processes. There is no experiencing entity behind the phenomena.

One comes to see that its not really the fear that is the "problem". Its ones own aversion to that fear.


Restlessness is it called, this hindrance. Restlessness and Remorse, in the "Five Mental Hindrances and Their Conquest"

It can be of course used for worldly purposes, but actually it not meant for such, its not meant to be a winner of others in the world, but to win something beyond that, Mr. Dmitri Pisarenko.


Dmitri congrats. I would have thought you were the reason why Buddha spoke of this sutta. shop-keeper.

Buddha pointed out 3 key factors to be a successful businessman,

  • good vision
  • good management
  • good benefactors (merchant with good vision and management attracts investors who would love to invest money with him.)

Second half of sutta, Buddha used those 3 factors that you can probably related to very well, with dharma or mental development.

  • your question is loaded and probably will not be answered with just one sutta or two. I would follow shopkeeper sutta and follow the formula. the last one is collecting sutta and knowledge in buddha's lectures and teachings.
    – user5056
    Jan 20, 2016 at 20:24
  • well in this discourse the image of a shopkeeper is only employed as a source of analogy to how a monk should go about his training, and so this is not necessarily meant to be an advice on business management Jan 26, 2016 at 20:03

here Dhammapada comes to mind, from chapter 16 Piyavagga

  1. Seek no intimacy with the beloved and also not with the unloved, for not to see the beloved and to see the unloved, both are painful.

  2. Therefore hold nothing dear, for separation from the dear is painful. There are no bonds for those who have nothing beloved or unloved.

  3. From attachment springs grief, from attachment springs fear. From him who is wholly free from attachment there is no grief, whence then fear?

  4. From craving springs grief, from craving springs fear. From him who is wholly free from craving there is no grief; whence then fear?

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