How to Deal With the Fear of Failure - Deepstash
How to Deal With the Fear of Failure

How to Deal With the Fear of Failure


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How to Deal With the Fear of Failure

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What is fear of failure

The fear of failure, which is sometimes referred to asatychiphobia, is an irrational and persisting fear of failing.

  • Sometimes this fear might emerge in response to a specific situation. In other cases, it might be related to another mental health condition such as anxiety or depression.

The fear of failure may also be related to being a perfectionist Because perfectionists have such high expectations for how they expect things to turn out, they may experience a nagging fear that they won't live up to those often unrealistically high standards.


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Characteristics of fear of failure

Fear of failure can produce emotional and behavioural symptoms. some of the common signs of this fear include:

  • Anxiety
  • Avoidance
  • Feeling a loss of control
  • Helplessness
  • Powerlessness

In addition to emotional and behavioural symptoms, people with a fear of failure may also experience physical symptoms including rapid heart rate, chest tightness, trembling, dizziness, lightheadedness, sweating, and digestive problems.


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The fear of failure may affect people in a variety of ways, which means that it's not always easy to identify:

  • Believing that you don't have the skills or knowledge to achieve something
  • Feeling like you won't be able to achieve your goals
  • Procrastinating to the point that it affects your performance or ability to finish on time
  • Telling people that you will probably fail so that expectations remain low
  • Underestimating your own abilities to avoid feeling let down
  • Worrying that imperfections or shortcomings will make other people think less of you
  • Worrying that you will disappoint others if you fail


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In some cases, the fear of failure may cause people to avoid trying altogether.

  • Because they are so afraid that they will try and not succeed, they simply decide not to try at all in order to prevent potential pain, embarrassment, or disappointment.

In order to be diagnosed with a specific phobia, your symptoms must:

  • Involve excessive and unreasonable fear
  • Involve an immediate anxiety response
  • Be marked by avoidance or extreme distress
  • Limit your ability to function normally
  • Last as least six months and not be due to another condition


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Causes of fear of failure

Critical upbringing: People who grow up in households that are highly critical or unsupportive may be more likely to experience a fear of failure.

Definitions of failure: People often have different definitions of what failure means. For some people, it means not achieving something exactly as they planned.

Trauma: People who experienced a difficult or even traumatic failure may also be very afraid of repeating that experience in the future.

It becomes more serious when it inhibits your ability to pursue your goals and achieve the things you want to accomplish in life.


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Impact of fail of failure

  • Low self-esteem: People who fear failure may also engage in negative self-talk or have low self-confidence that makes it difficult to pursue goals.
  • Poor motivation: When people fear failure, they may also experience a lack of motivation that makes it difficult to get started on projects and work toward goals.
  • Self-sabotage: It isn't uncommon for people who fear failure to engage in acts of self-handicapping that undermine their own chances of success.
  • Shame: The fear of failure often stems from a fear of experiencing shame or embarrassment.


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Coping with fear of failure

Consider the outcomes: sometimes thinking about the worst possible outcome, and then coming up with a plan for how you’ll deal with it

Focus on the things you can control: Focus your energy on things that you can control.

plan ahead: When you are facing a challenge that might trigger your fear of failing, work on developing alternative plans.

redefine failure: changing how you think about failure may also help reduce your feelings of fear.

use positive thinking: Avoid negative self-talk that can undermine your confidence and create feelings of anxiety.


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While visualization is often touted as a tool for success, research actually shows that this motivational strategy can backfire with people who have a high fear of failure.

  • One study found that people with a strong fear of failing experienced strong negative moods after they engaged in an activity that involved visualizing success.


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Treatment for the fear of failure depends on a variety of factors including how you experience this fear and the impact that it has on your life.

If your fear of failure is impeding your ability to function normally, it is important to talk to a professional. Treatment options for a fear of failure might include:

  • Psychotherapy can help you address the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that contribute to a fear of failure.
  • Medications may be prescribed to help you manage feelings of anxiety or depression that might be linked to your fear.


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