Atychiphobia: Understanding the Fear of Failure (And How to Overcome It)

Last Update on April 28, 2023 : Published on April 28, 2023

“Success is not final, failure isn’t fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts” – Winston Churchill

It is often seen that whenever we act on something we weigh it as a success or a failure. This causes us to believe that the result has to be either positive or that the rest of the effort we’ve put in is just wasted effort. This is the fear of failure that often makes us give up on trying.

Fear of failure, often known as Atychiphobia, is a persistent and often overwhelming feeling of apprehension that can prevent us from moving forward in life and succeeding. When you’re constantly shrouded in the fear of failure, it makes you believe that whatever you do, you will fail, even though it’s not true in reality. This kind of insecure thinking can make it difficult to think positively and even impact your emotions and behaviors.

Fear can be debilitating, but when you learn about the fear, what brings it on, and what it looks like, you can learn to overcome the fear of failure and move on in life and succeed. Let’s begin by learning what it looks like and what causes it, so you’re prepared to combat the fear of failure.

What is Atychiphobia, The Fear of Failure?

The fear of failure is a persistent belief that you’re not good enough and that you’re bound to fail if you try to do something. It’s the fear that you will disappoint others and yourself. The fear of failure is more than just worrying about failing a task, it’s an all-consuming reaction to the belief that you will never be enough.

Eventually, the fear can make you feel extremely worried, full of negative thoughts, and reluctant to work towards your goals.

The feeling of apprehension that follows you around can range from mild to severe, just like any irrational fear or phobia. When the symptoms are mild, the fear of failure can act as a motivator, but when it’s severe, it can interfere in your life and cause an inability to act towards your goals or any task.

In simple words, severe fear of failure can fill you with constant, if not overwhelming anxiety, making you unable to move forward in life.

What Does the Fear of Failure Look Like?

The fear of failure or atychiphobia can look like this;

  • Feeling a sense of hopelessness when it comes to the future
  • Experiencing chronic worrying
  • Having concerns about what others think of you if you fail
  • Experiencing constant procrastination
  • An inability to focus on one thing at a time
  • Avoiding tasks or situations that you associate with a goal
  • Experiencing other physical symptoms such as fatigue, headache, stomach issues, joint pain, etc.

What Causes The Fear of Failure?

You can develop the fear of failure at any point in your life, just like any other phobia. Of course, just like any other phobia, the fear of failure can also be caused by the biological, social, and environmental factors in your life. However, some common causes of fear of failure can include;

The fear of failure can leave a severe impact on your mental and emotional health. It can alter your mindset and outlook, making it harder for you to take action. It can also hold the capacity to hurt or damage your relationships and affect the quality of your life and well-being.

Some of the common impacts the fear of failure can have on you can include;

  • Avoiding tasks or opportunities because you fear negative judgments, a sense of shame, or disappointment
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Low self-efficacy
  • Poor resilience
  • Thoughts of powerlessness
  • Underachievement
  • Increased anxiety
  • Emotional instability
  • Self-sabotaging behaviors

How to Overcome the Fear of Failure?

True success is in overcoming the fear of failure. Many a time, we see that people get upset and give up on something after facing a small moment of failure. The fear of failure can be so crippling that it might prevent us from trying ever again. It’s important to learn more about how to combat fear of failure so that you can live a successful and fulfilling life.

Practice these methods whenever you feel the fear of failure overpowering your mind. You can take these ways to stop the fear of failure as a part of life until it stops hurting you and you can look forward to working again.

This is always going to help you grow and make progress in life. Let’s take a look!

1. Face it, Accept it, Learn from it

Sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn. It might be an indication that you are doing it wrong, so try a different method. Other times, it might be time to realize that it ain’t for you and that investing more time would not result in something good for you. Don’t take this to your heart instead take the trials as the time from which you are learning.

2. Learn from Your Mistakes

Making mistakes is nothing to be ashamed of as we all are making mistakes and are learning at our own pace. Know that failure is temporary. Failure is not about falling but to stay in the same place. If you are willing to change the situation, you will make efforts and get over it. Do what makes you feel fear and one day, you will see yourself on the other side where you’ll be reminded of your lessons.

3. Rethink Your Goals

Take a peek within your mind and see if your goals are realistic. This will help in your journey to success. Stop comparing yourself with others as every individual is different and so are their abilities. Never let your fear decide your future. Personal growth and development come from learning from the process and rethinking your goals will help you.

4. List out Your Fears

When you stand at the crossroads, you can either fight courageously or fear the outcome and don’t fight at all. We must choose to fight and go down swinging, that way we never have the regret of not trying. Also, this will help you combat your fear of failure. Allow yourself to face your fears. This will instill positivity in you and encourage you to move ahead with more confidence.

5. Follow Motivational People

Remember that a lot of successful people had faced multiple failures to reach that place. Be it J. K. Rowling who tasted success only after being rejected again and again or Bill Gates who had several failed attempts before it went right.

There are hundreds of examples of famous people along with millions of others who are around us. It is continuous efforts and patience that bring huge success to all, whether it is the richest person or the most famous one. Take motivation from them and keep going.

Don’t Let Your Fear of Failure Hold You Back…

Be it your personal life or your professional life, failure is a necessary part of growing into the best version of yourself. There’s only one thing that keeps you from achieving your dream and that is your fear of failure.

So, pack your saddle and start your journey, and you’ll have a view worth climbing for. Whatever little progress you make, pat your back, congratulate yourself for learning something new, and you’ll have overcome your fear of failure.

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About The Author

Swarnakshi Sharma
Swarnakshi Sharma

Swarnakshi is a content writer at Calm sage, who believes in a healthier lifestyle for mind and body. A fighter and survivor of depression, she strives to reach and help spread awareness on ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues. A spiritual person at heart, she believes in destiny and the power of Self. She is an avid reader and writer and likes to spend her free time baking and learning about world cultures.

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