What is Fear of Failure or Atychiphobia? 10 Innovative Tips to Overcome Fear of Failure.

Fear of Failure (Atychiphobia)

Fear of Failure or Atychiphobia

None in this world is fond of failure- all of us want success and achievements but Fear of Failure is the irrational and intense fear of failing that prevent us to do many works in our life. The fear of failure or Atychiphobia always hold us back and prevent us from taking any kind of risks in life and sometimes may interfere with our day-to-day activities. So, Catherene Pulsifer stated that Don’t let your fear of failure stop you from realizing your dreams. The intense fear of failure can lead us to emotional and psychological issues like panic attacks, low self-esteem, acute depression and even the social isolation. To beat with this phobia, we should keep in mind that

I have not failed. I have just found 10000 ways that won’t work” Thomas Edison

Signs and Symptoms of Fear of Failure

The fear of failure can produce many behavioral and psychological symptoms- some common symptoms are:-

. Avoidance to do many activities of daily life, tiredness or fatigue, Loss of control

. Excessive Anxiety in doing any Tasks associated with irritablity

. Always Anxious about other people’s Judgement, admitting failure before doing a task.

. Depressed or Sad, having pessimistic view of life.

. Panic Attacks- difficulty in breathing, chest pain, dizziness, trembling sensations.

. Very low self-esteem, low self- confidence, afraid of performing a simple task also.

. Avoid embracing any new changes, Social Isolation and Negative self-image.

. Anger, Anxiety disorder, Depression may seen associated with feeling of Shame and self-doubt.

Fear of failure Create the feelings of Self-doubts And confusion.

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Causes of Fear of Failure or Atychiphobia

The Atychiphobia severely affect the mindset of people- their personality, their success rate and even the mental peace and well-being. According to a survey, it affects an estimated 2-5 percent of population and in most of the cases this disorder remains as undiagnosed and untreated. As writer Suzy Kassem says,” Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.” The common causes of Atychiphobia are-

.Traumatic Experiences: –The traumatic experiences of childhood due to failure at certain works may cause the fear of failure within you. For example, you have suffered severe punishment as a result of failure in some activity or you have humiliated by people for your failure in some aspects of life, you may develop the Atychiphobia or fear of failure within you.

. Suffering from other Phobias: – If anyone is suffering from other phobias like examinophobia (fear of examinations), mysophobia ( fear of germs and dirt ) etc. are more prone to suffering from Atychiphobia.

.Family History: – If anyone in the family have the fear of failure, it may be seen in others also. Genetics have crucial roles in developing anxiety disorders, phobias like the Fear of Failure.

. Parental Pressure:- Severe parental pressure for excellence in academics and other fields often create this fear of failure among the children and this phobia is continued in his\her adulthood also.

. Unhealthy Family Environment:- If the environment of family is unhealthy- abuse, neglect, domestic violence are seen, if the relationships among the family members are not healthy, the children of those family often lose their self-confidence, self- esteem and become too serious about their self-image, these children are more prone to develop the fear of failure and this phobia remain with them in their adulthood.

. Mental Disorders:- The people who are suffering from anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, personality disorders may also suffering from this Atychiphobia.

. Perfectionism:- The people who are perfectionists -have extremely high standards of expectations, often suffering from the fear of failure as they can not match their high standards and may experience an intense fear of failing.

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  Fear of failure often associated with anxiety, depression and feeling of shame.
Fear of failure often associated with anxiety, depression and shame.

Impact of the Fear of Failure

This phobia severely affect the mental and emotional well-being of people and take them away from their way of success. the Major impacts are as stated here-:

.Lowering the self-esteem and self-confidence of people.

. Enhancing the feeling of hopelessness and powerlessness.

. Increasing the feeling of self-doubts and confusion.

. Avoiding Social situations as they feel shame or embarrassment

. Suffering from Anxiety Disorders, Depression etc.

. Not capable of achieving Success as per the skills as they are in fear of taking risks.

. Problem in making\ establishing Relationships with others

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How to Avoid the Fear of Failure?

To avoid this Atychiphobia, we must need a positive mindset and our desire to overcome this phobia. Then only we can follow these innovative ways to avoid our phobia

Learn to Accept Failures

Failure is the part of life, everybody experience failure and it is not a matter of shame or embarrassment. To accept failure, one can participate in different Group activities and can experience failure with others. one can also read the biography of the famous people of the world like Rabindranath Tagore, Warren Buffet, Napoleon, Barak Obama and so others to find out that how they experienced failures in their life but tried their best to achieve success in life.

Redefine Failures

Redefine Failure means that you are changing your thinking, your perspectives about failure so that to reduce your fear related to failure in life. To know about the philosophy of success in life as that success is the series of progressive failures that lead to new skills, new achievements etc. often help you to overcome your phobia of failure.

Make Proper Plans with Alternate Options

To avoid your phobia of failure, you should make a proper plan for any work with alternate options so that if you fail in plan A, you will try plan B and if you again fail in plan B, you will try plan C. Proper planning with alternate options will surely make you less afraid about your failure and you may achieve success through plan C. It will also teach you to accept the failures in life.

Start with Small Goals

It is very important to set small goals for you to achieve success in life and this little little success will surely help you to overcome your fear of failure. Always try to break down your whole task into smaller fragments and then it will be easy for you to accomplish your goals. Here you can keep in mind the golden words of Martin Luther King that “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

Be positive to overcome your Fear of Failure.
Be Positive to overcome your Fear of Failure.

Positive Mindset

The positive mindset is the ultimate way to overcome the fear of failure- if you are positive in thinking and attitudes, then it will be very easy for you to overcome your phobia and embrace the success in life may be at small scale. Avoid negative self-talk, negative thinking as it will lower your self-confidence level more and more and make you anxious. But the positive mindset will always boost your self- confidence and help you to conquer the Atychiphobia.

Visualization of Possible Outcomes

The visualization of all possible outcomes with both pros and cons will always help to prepare our mind to accept both success and failures and thus help us to overcome our phobia of failure. It will help us to take proper decision depending upon the situation and always help us to accept the most devasting end result of the situation as we have already visualized the failures also. That’s why John C, Maxwell said,” Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.” It’s not the failure- it’s the learning from the situation, so, why should we afraid of failure?

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Focus on What you can Control

By focusing on what you can control always give you the confidence and a sense of certainty to excel in your jobs and minimize the chances of failure. But trying to focus on things that you can not control always make you anxious and frustrated and the chances of being failed is increased. So, to overcome the fear of failure, only focus on the things that you can control.

Try to Find out the Sources of Atychiphobia

To get rid of this phobia, it is important to find out the sources and try to address the problem properly. Here one should choose the problem focused coping strategy rather than avoiding it to find out the sources and the underlying reason for the phobia and try to overcome this fear of failure. For example, one boy reading in x did not want to sit for the mathematics examination as he was always scolded by parents for getting low grades.

Focus on what you can control to overcome fear of failure
Focus on what you can control to overcome Fear of Failure

Share your Feelings with Someone you Trust

To minimize the worry, tension of us or to reduce the fear of failure, it is very important to share your feelings with some trustworthy and empathetic people who can give us advice, support and care. They may share the experiences of their life to encourage us to beat our failure and to realize our full potential.

Learn to Question your Fear

The Fear of Failure is the irritational and persistent fear of failing in any tasks, so one should learn to question your failure to understand it’s intensity and also to find out the ways to overcome this Atychiphobia. Questioning the fear always help to retrospect yourself and find out the alternate plans to minimize your phobia of failure.


If this phobia is hampering your day-to-day activities and you are frequently suffering from panic attacks as soon as you have this fear of failure, you should quickly take the help of any professional- psychologist, psychiatrist or therapist to treat your phobia. The professionals will help you with a variety of ways to manage and treat your Atychiphobia like the Cognitive Behavior Therapy which is a psychotherapy to change your negative approach about failures into a positive one with the help of several coping strategies. Exposure therapy, boosting the level of confidence, Person-centered therapy etc. are really beneficial. But the Positive Growth Mindset is the ultimate way to conquer the Fear of Failure.

.”Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst.”


  1. verywellmind.com Fear of Failure: Definition, Signs, Causes, and Coping (verywellmind.com)
  2. www.verywellhealth.comFear of Failure: Definition, Traits, Causes, Treatment (verywellhealth.com)
  3. Fear of Failure Phobia – Bing video
  4. Cleveland Clinic –Fear of Failure (Atychiphobia): Causes & Treatment (clevelandclinic.org)
  5. 10 Signs That You Might Have Fear of Failure | Psychology Today
  6. Wikipedia-Fear of negative evaluation – Wikipedia
  7. How To Conquer The Fear Of Failure – 5 Proven Strategies (forbes.com)
  8. Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Overcome It) – LifeHack
  9. Fear of failure (atychiphobia): Symptoms and treatment (medicalnewstoday.com)
  10. Atychiphobia: Understanding Fear of Failure (healthline.com)
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