Atychiphobia: the fear of failure. Yes, that’s a real thing. There are some people in this world who are so afraid they are going to fail that they refuse to even attempt to succeed.
The fear of failure is so debilitating that the person never attempts to achieve anything at all. This isn’t to say that he or she doesn’t have dreams or aspirations -- he or she just will never try to achieve them.
Imagine living a life where you never bothered to try because you were too afraid of failing -- the fear being so intense that you ended up failing by not trying.
Imagine living a life where you dream, but have to live with the fact that you will never have the life you want. Worse yet, imagine having to live with yourself knowing all this and knowing that you are what’s holding you back.
Most of you don’t suffer from Atychiphobia. Nevertheless, I’m sure you all experience some -- if not the majority -- of the symptoms. Even if you don’t have a phobia, that doesn’t mean you aren’t afraid of failure.
You may not be debilitatingly scared, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t scared of failing and that it isn’t ruining your life. Phobias are unconscious; you may very well be ruining your own life and not even know it. Check and see if you can relate with any of these scenarios:
You had such high hopes and dreams growing up, but now that you’re older, those dreams have escaped you.
You’re probably not even sure why or when, but at some point or another, you simply stopped. You’re not sure if you stopped caring or if you stopped trying, you just know that those dreams of yours seem to be nothing more than the dreams of the child you once were.
When we’re younger, we think so highly of ourselves and believe that we can accomplish anything… it's sad to think that just a decade or two later and all of a sudden we decide we’re weak and hopeless. When did you make that switch? Why did you make that switch?
You never try to push the bar -- you prefer to just get by with the minimum amount of effort.
Growing up, you probably didn’t bother to try very hard to do well in school. Not to say that you didn’t do well, as many of us who were never very good at studying were excellent at cheating.
Now that you’re working and supporting yourself, you never feel a need to do more than you have to do. You like to just get by and "go with the flow" -- because you’ve been told that that’s what cool people do.
Of course, you’re probably saying to yourself, "If I had a job I loved and was passionate about then I’d always be putting in 110 percent." Bullsh*t. There is no job you’ll love because you don’t have the guts to ever risk anything.
You can’t love something that doesn’t involve some sort of risk. Otherwise, you’d get bored too quickly and lose interest. Unless you learn to appreciate risk, you’ll never find a reason to give it your all. Without risk, there is no need for such action.
You believe you have no talents.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: There is no such thing as talent. I’m sorry, but you’ve been lied to your entire life. No one is more talented than anyone else in anything.
Sure, some people are more intelligent than others. And sure, some people learn things better when certain parts of their brains are stimulated, opposed to other parts, but at the end of the day, there is no such thing as “talent.”
You are no more or less talented than the next gal or guy. You may not have as high of an IQ. You may not have been lucky enough yet to have found yourself in the right position for you to figure out what things you more easily learn. But nevertheless, you can accomplish just about anything the next guy can.
There are exceptions -- but not many. Most people who succeed in creating their dream lives aren’t more talented or smarter than you. They just found the courage to risk failure and pursue their dreams.
Your only real talent is finding reasons not to do things.
You are the king of excuses. Of course, you don’t call them excuses. To you, they're entirely reasonable reasons to avoid doing something. You’re not avoiding anything… you’re "unable to participate."
There are always reasons not to do something. What you need is to find one good enough reason to do it. My personal favorite is logic. Fears are only acceptable if they are logical.
You should only not do something if not doing it would leave you better off than doing it.
What really are the risks? If you fail, will it change anything? We all have to be careful and keep our egos in check. Often, they get the better of us and protect themselves at our expense.
You don’t really like yourself.
You don’t hate yourself -- you’re just… not impressed. I couldn’t imagine living a life where I didn’t, at the very least, try to impress myself. Forget about impressing others, but if you aren’t even willing to impress yourself then you’ll never like yourself.
You have been avoiding failure for so long that you all of a sudden woke up and realized that you somehow managed to fail anyway.
You avoided doing and trying, but never considered the idea that by never trying, you’d be failing by default. Luckily, it’s never too late. You’re an impressive individual; you just need to work on impressing yourself a bit more.
You hate your life.
People like to blame everybody but themselves for their situation, for the way their lives turned out. It’s true, a lot of sh*t can happen to you that is entirely out of your control.
But because it’s out of your control, you shouldn’t be taking those factors into consideration. What you need to be focusing on is all the things you could have done, but didn’t do.
Have you been making the same mistakes over and over again? Could you have handled things a bit differently? Tried to push a little further? Took bigger risks or just made smarter decisions? Sure, life kicked you in the balls, but did you figure out a way to get what you want regardless?
For every choice we make, there are a thousand others we could have made. Are you entirely certain that there is nothing you could have done to get you to where you wanted to be? Are you sure that there isn’t anything you can do now?
You’re lost -- you have no purpose or direction in life.
You’re stuck. You aren’t sure where you’re going or why you’re going there, but you do know that time is passing and that you’re getting older -- so you must be moving.
Chances are that you’re running around in circles. So, in other words, you aren’t heading anywhere.
Changing directions in life always involves one thing: taking risks. I say risks because it’s never just one. Firstly, you’re risking making the wrong decisions. Then you’re risking whatever it is you have to give up in order to get what you want.
Not to mention that by attempting you are automatically risking the possibility of failure. But without risking all of this, you will never get anywhere.
You’re running around in circles because doing so feels safe. It feels like there is no risk, but there is.
You’re risking ruining your life. You’re risking failing at life. You can fail a hundred times and be OK, but if you fail at life, then it’s game over.