Lifestyle, Mental Health, Motivational, Wellness

The Fear of Failure: Atychiphobia

Atychiphobia…another word probably 99% of the population have never heard. I know I haven’t heard it before. It is an irrational fear of failure that can prevent a person from doing anything if success isn’t guaranteed.

Atychiphobia is often an unconscious phobia. I say “often” because I’m sure there are people who can recognize this fear within themselves. This phobia can affect all aspects of a person’s life – from financial success to weight loss success.

Symptoms of Atychiphobia

Now, just because you may have one or more of these symptoms, you don’t necessarily have atychiphobia. That is up to the psychiatric professional.

With that being said, here are some symptoms that I have learned about.

  • Extreme mental anxiety
  • Digestive issues
  • Headache
  • Muscle tension
  • Panic
  • Faking illness
  • Making constant excuses
  • Telling blatant lies

Causes of/Reasons for Atychiphobia

While there are many variations to the cause of/reason for the fear of success, I will list them in no particular order.

  • It is often linked to embarrassing or traumatic events in one’s past
  • Can be caused by strict or overly demanding parents
  • Can be caused by demeaning siblings or friends
  • Negative thoughts about new challenges caused by minor failures in childhood
  • Societal pressures (e.g. looks, education, material wealth)

(To read the source article, click here.)

Overcoming Atychiphobia

One can learn to overcome his/her fear of failure over time. It will take a lot of hard work and quite possibly some therapy, but it is doable.

I have seen 3 ways of overcoming atychiphobia:

  1. Self-motivation. This is by far the most effective way to overcome atychiphobia. Take a big project and break it down into smaller, more manageable projects. Doing this will help one realize that failure isn’t the end-all-be-all, but that it’s just a part of learning.
  2. Counseling. Meeting with a therapist can help one to discover more effective ways of coping with atychiphobia.
  3. Medication. This is a last line of defense. The reasoning is that the medication is like putting a band-aid on cancer – the symptoms are being treated, but the root cause isn’t.

In the next post, I will go over who to trust in the age of information overload.

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