The fear of failure is more common than you think. Most of us are constantly thinking about what could go wrong in life. It is a strong emotion. It keeps us from doing great things with our lives.

I know this first hand as many times I trust fear more than success. Being afraid, unfortunately, rules a great part of my life. And yes, I know what it comes from.

Being afraid that you will fail is what keeps us from taking risks for new jobs, new relationships, and other potentially successful decisions. It’s not protecting us all the time, it’s doing more damage than good.

A closer look at the fear of failure

Atychiphobia is another name for the clinical condition of being afraid of failure. It’s closely related to the fear of rejection. In the worst cases of this fear, some may get stuck in a cycle of either ditching appointments or the act of arriving over-prepared and early. Both symptoms derive from a foreboding that something bad will happen.

Some symptoms of the fear of failure are as follows:

  • Nausea
  • Rapid breathing
  • Nervousness
  • Rapid pulse
  • Panic attacks
  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Tension in the muscles

There are more symptoms of being frozen in fear. Just like most other types of fears, this terror creates a need for what’s called a sanctuary, or basically the safety of your home. Some people never want to leave home either.

What creates the fear of not being good enough?

It’s not that easy to explain the definite causes of the fear of failing. There are some common reasons why we won’t take risks in our lives. These causes can be addressed and used to find solutions for why we are so scared.

Here are a few examples of what causes fear to rule our lives:

1. Lack of confidence

One of the reasons we become so afraid is due to the lack-of-confidence. When someone has a healthy self-confidence, they usually don’t dwell on whether they will succeed or fail. The usually just understand that if they fail, they will handle the situation accordingly.

On the other hand, those with low self-confidence will believe in perfectionism. They think that unless they succeed in the task at hand, they will be a failure. Although they fail, they are not a failure, most of us know that, but, to them, this is just a fact.

2. Perfectionism

Closely related to the lack of confidence is the subject of perfectionism. Those who fear failure often believe that they and the things they are interested in are supposed to be perfect  The truth is, nothing is entirely perfect no matter how hard you try to be successful in your endeavors.

Perfection may actually come from the dysfunction of others where a person was always expected to do things without flaws. Neglect could be causes of perfectionism in tasks today and can cause a lack of confidence. The only way to understand if this is a true cause of fear is to notice the traits of the friends around you.

3. Personalization

Some people see failure as a testament to who they are. When they fail to complete a task in the right way or in perfect timing, they see fault in themselves. These individuals truly do not feel good enough about themselves to attempt a new task or take any risks.

The right way to see failure is to look at the tools used for the project of the job. It’ isn’t always about us when things go south. Sometimes it’s just the circumstance or timing. So taking personal offense to failure is just an unhealthy way of looking at things altogether.

4. The perfectionism of others

Although some of us are victims of perfectionism in our personalities, there are others who impose their perfectionism on us too. Some people expect us to be perfect and so we work hard to meet these expectations. This can happen so much that we do feel that we are doomed to fail.

The perfectionism of others is also born from some deep-seated expectation of others as well. It’s actually like a curse passed down from one person to the next. If you are in an important position in your job, don’t be surprised if your boss expects only the best from you and allows no room for mistakes.

5. Childhood issues

Any sort of abuse can cause a fear of failure. Traumas such as abuse or even neglect can make you feel as if nothing you do, present or in the future, will turn out right. This is why you stay home so much and stay within your comfort zone.

Taking a closer look at childhood issues presents us with patterns. The first incident of abuse was probably shocking to the child, but after a while, it became a normal part of life. As an adult, fear became a normal part of life as well.

Maybe you are always afraid that if you fail, there will be punishments. You even brace yourself for the fail long before you actually know the outcome.

How to overcome your fear of failure?

If you recognize yourself as being afraid of failure, then the next step is to find ways to overcome this problem. You would be amazed by the number of ways you can decrease or eliminate these fears.

Here are a few ways to do this:

1. Keep things simple

Complications can heighten certain fears in life. This is because of disorganization and unhealthy emotions. Keeping things simple is the best way to remove your fear of failure. Simplicity can do many things to clear the mind and create a healthier atmosphere.

2. Be in the present moment

One way to overcome the fear of failure is to just be in the present moment. You must stop dwelling in the past and stop worrying about the future. The past, so many times, has pain and damage.

The future has worries that shouldn’t be worried about yet. So, the fear comes from wondering what will happen and if things will turn out bad. So being in the now is always best.

3. Welcome failure

If you accept failure and even welcome it into your life, you can learn many things. Failures teach us what we shouldn’t do and what we can do that’s better. You just have to learn a different mindset when it comes to this dread of failure.

Slowly look within and find what holds you back. Many times, it’s the simple truth of lack of trust in the world. Trust your abilities to accept failure instead.

Nothing is certain

Remember, if you’re afraid of failing, then you will rarely take chances at anything. Taking chances are what change your life, and it’s not always negative. There have been many instances where taking risks have resulted in great achievements and success.

It starts with practice. You must embrace failure before the failure happens if it will. You must take a look at the roots of your life and situations, understanding the truth about failures. Who taught you the horrible feelings associated with fear?

You must ask questions like these to have the courage to change your life for the better. Facing your fears and stepping out in faith is the bottom line. Dump the fear of failure, and start living a life worth living.

References:

  1. https://www.lifehack.org
  2. https://www.psychologytoday.com
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