Fear of Failure or Atychiphobia

How to Overcome the Fear of Failure?

Fear of failure is a universal feeling. Everyone experiences the fear of failure at some point in their lives. Once you try to come out of your safe comfort zone and accept new challenges; it’s natural to worry about failing to achieve the goals. This fear of failure may inhibit you from reaching your full potential. At extreme level, this may convert into a phobia known as Atychiphobia, a type of anxiety disorder; and start affecting your ability to function in day-to-day life. This can paralyze your aspirations, hinder personal growth, and prevent you from taking essential steps towards success.

Whether in your professional endeavors, relationships, or personal pursuits, the fear of failure can cast a dark shadow, impeding your progress. Nevertheless, understanding and acknowledging this fear is the initial step in overcoming it. This article delves into the origins and consequences of the fear of failure while exploring practical strategies to embrace failure as a stepping-stone towards growth and accomplishment.

What is a Fear of Failure?

A person has a fear of failure (also called “Atychiphobia”) when he/she worry that his/her plan, project, or goal will not succeed. It may cause the person to procrastinate or avoid any activity or scenario that has the potential for an unsuccessful outcome. Someone with this condition may be scared to try new things and take risks. Atychiphobia is an unhealthy fear of failure. It can lead to depression, anxiety and poor self-esteem.

Many people have these fears, especially those who live or work in high pressure environments.

Causes of Fear of Failure

Fear of failure can be linked to many causes:

Critical Upbringing

Having critical or unsupportive parents is a cause for some people. Because they were routinely undermined or humiliated in childhood, they carry those negative feelings into adulthood.


Experiencing a traumatic event 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 performed extremally poor. 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.


Fear of failure sometimes stems from perfectionism. When people have extremely high standards, it often seems like nothing lives up to their expectations. This includes their own performance and achievements. Because they fear not reaching the high standards they’ve set, they may experience an intense fear of failing.


Anxiety is also influenced by genetic factors. If members of your family also have anxiety conditions, you might be more likely to develop fears and anxieties yourself.

Fear of Failure or Atychiphobia

The Impact of Fear of Failure

The fear of failure can have significant impacts on various aspects of your life. Here are some ways in which it can affect you:


The fear of failure can lead to indecisiveness and inaction. You may become so terrified of making a mistake that you avoid taking risks altogether, thereby missing out on opportunities for growth and success.

Low Self-Esteem

Constantly fearing failure can erode self-confidence and self-esteem. You might internalize your perceived failures, leading to self-doubt and a negative self-image.

Missed Opportunities

The fear of failure can prevent you from trying new experiences or stepping outside your comfort zones. As a result, you may miss out on opportunities that could have enriched your life.


When you allow the fear of failure to control you; you become stagnant and resist change. Personal and professional growth often necessitates taking risks and confronting challenges. The fear of failure can make you feel stuck, not knowing what to do. You might be too scared to take risks or try new things, missing out on opportunities.

Emotional and Psychological Issues

Fear of failure can also lead to a broad range of emotional and psychological problems, including shame, depression, anxiety, or panic attacks.

Overcoming Fear of Failure

Overcoming the fear of failure is crucial for personal growth and achieving success. Here are the tips and strategies to help you embrace fear of failure and achieve success in life.

“You need to battle with fear of failure to achieve your goals in life” ~ Invajy

Reframe Your Perspective

Change your perspective and look at the failure differently. Rather than viewing failure as a dead-end, reframe it as a valuable learning experience. View it as a chance to learn. Each failure provides insights that allow you to refine your approach and make better decisions in the future.

Try Try and Try Again

Failure is a natural part of the learning process and each failure brings valuable lessons and experiences that can help you improve and become better equipped for future challenges.

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm” ~ Winston Churchill

Set Realistic Goals

While setting goals use the SMART goals rule. If your goal is too high, you might not reach it. It is, therefore, wiser to choose a goal that’s just slightly above your current level but still manageable. Unrealistic expectations can amplify the fear of failure. Set achievable, incremental goals that you can work towards gradually. Celebrate the progress made, even if it falls short of your ultimate objective.


Cultivate Resilience

Resilience is the ability to bounce back after setbacks. Cultivate resilience by viewing failure as a temporary setback and reminding yourself that it is a part of the journey towards success.

Learn from Role Models

Read about successful people who faced failure in their lives. Recognize that even the most accomplished individuals encountered failures, but learned from those mistakes and used them as stepping-stones towards success.

Focus on Effort, Not Perfection

Don’t aim for perfection, give emphasis on your efforts and progress rather than striving for perfection. Acknowledge that success often involves trial and error, and often comes after trying different approaches. The failures and setbacks are an essential aspect of growth.

Seek Support

Even the most talented people occasionally deal with setbacks and failures. So, you must learn to take it in stride and keep moving forward. When you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it. Most people don’t ask for help when they need it. You may also talk about your fears with your supportive friends, family, or mentors. Sometimes, sharing your anxieties can make them less scary.


The fear of failure can be a formidable adversary, but it is not insurmountable. Embracing failure as a natural part of life’s journey can liberate you from its paralyzing grip. By reframing your perspectives, setting realistic goals, and cultivating resilience, you can harness the power of failure to propel you forward on the path towards success. Remember, failure is not the end; it is an opportunity for growth and a catalyst for achieving your true potential. Embrace the unknown and face your fears head-on as you embark on a fulfilling and transformative journey towards personal growth and accomplishment.

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