Many of us are afraid of failing, at least some of the time. But atychiphobia, which is fear of failure, is when we allow that fear to stop us doing the things that can move us forward to achieve our goals.
Fear of failure can be linked to many causes. For instance, I remember running away from a debate competition which I was one of the favorites to clinch in primary school because my father was not supportive of the idea. At that time – for some reason I couldn’t explain – he felt I didn’t have what it takes to deliver in a competitive debate. Because of his reaction, I developed a grave fear of failure attached to any opportunity to speak in front of a crowd. I carried those negative feelings into adulthood but was lucky enough to overcome them.
Experiencing a traumatic event at some point in your life can also be a cause. For example, say that several years ago you gave an important presentation in front of a large group, and you did very poorly. The experience might have been so terrible that you became afraid of failing in other things. And you carry that fear even now, years later.
Some signs that you are afraid to fail in your endeavors and in life include:
· A reluctance to leave your comfort zone and try new things. (explain briefly)
· Self-sabotage – for example, procrastination, excessive anxiety, or a failure to follow through with goals.
· Low self-esteem – commonly using negative statements such as "I'll never be good enough to make the examination," or "I'm not smart enough to get on that team," are proves that you have low self esteem.
· Perfectionism – A willingness to try only those things that you know you'll finish perfectly and successfully. Also it shows in an attitude that isn’t willing to accept any error or imperfection in your activities.
It's almost impossible to go through life without experiencing some kind of failure. People who dare to live failure-free lives live so cautiously that they amount to nothing. In effect, they're not really living at all.
The wonderful thing about failure is that it's entirely up to us to decide how to look at it.
We can choose to see failure as "the end of the world," or as proof of just how inadequate we are. Or, we can look at failure as the incredible learning experience that it often is. Every time we fail at something, we can choose to look for the lesson we're meant to learn. These lessons are very important; they're how we grow, and how we keep from making that same mistake again. Failures stop us only if we let them.