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7 Signs That Prove You Might Have A Fear Of Failure

We have identified 7 tell-tale signs of  the fear of failure so that you can free yourself from its clutches & reach your full potential.
Sai Kardile
Any goal or activity the outcome of which we feel is bound to be fruitless makes us want to throw in the towel. It sounds like a familiar situation, doesn't it? It has a name—atychiphobia or what is commonly known as the 'fear of failure'. However, the good news is you can identify it and work towards overcoming it.

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"Fear is only as deep as the mind allows."
— Japanese Proverb
We all have the fear of failure in varying degrees. However, some of us are able to drive this unpleasant feeling out of our minds after a point, but for others, the fear is so intense that they feel hamstrung by it.

People who have the fear of failure are wanting in self-determination, zest, and enthusiasm to pursue their dreams.
There could be a number of reasons that can make one feel frightened by the prospect of failure. Perhaps one flunked an important exam or fumbled during a presentation. It could also be something intimate and linked to one's childhood such as having parents who had high expectations or were overly critical.
The feelings of distress experienced as a kid make their way into adulthood and manifest in self-sabotaging behaviors such as procrastination, anxiety, etc.

Another important aspect to consider here is the fact that we all have our own different ideas and definitions of success and failure which are informed by our mindsets and belief systems.
So what one thinks of as a shameful debacle can be accepted as a learning lesson by another. The operative word here is "shame".
It's not that people with the fear of failure aren't mentally equipped to deal with the negative emotions that follow it. It's the sense of shame which they find it hard to shrug off.
They see that as a blow to their self-esteem and confidence. This is why they will prefer erring on the side of caution; for them 'caution' is not getting themselves involved in any kind of challenging or uncertain situation.

With this, let us delve into the tell-tale signs that will help you know if you or anyone you know has atychiphobia.
You avoid taking responsibilities
This one is a classic sign. You are so paralyzed by the fear of performing poorly in any given job that in order not to feel disappointed or inadequate, you avoid taking responsibilities altogether. People with the fear of failure often lack the motivation and self-determination to take on challenging tasks or any activity that calls for accountability.
You stay in your comfort zone
Of course, the comfort zone is one warm and cushy place that we all like to stay in but those with atychiphobia are especially reluctant to step out that which is beyond their familiar, tried-and-tested turf. Anything that presents the risk of failure is a big no-no.
You aren't happy with your current job
We all hit a point in our career/job where we feel out of sync with what we are doing. Deep down we all know that the only choice out of the quagmire is to quit doing what isn't making us happy and move on to discovering what does. However, despite knowing this, if you are still stuck in your profession, it's a sign that you have the fear of failure.
You are afraid of letting others down
If you base your decisions on the likelihood of others' approval because you don't want to disappoint them, it's a surefire sign that you have the fear of failure. There's a certain wisdom in the saying, "You can't be everything to everyone all the time". You shouldn't have to think about whether or not you fit into someone else's idea of perfection.
You aren't enthusiastic about your future
The fear of how the future will pan out for some is so paralysing that they give up on the idea of settings objectives. If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable, powerless, and anxious when posed with questions about your career goals or future plans in general—that's because you are hemmed in by the fear of failure.
You worry that failing will make others despise you
If you think that people like you or will like you solely on the basis of your accomplishments or a shining resume and that if you don't succeed, you will be looked down upon—it is obvious that you have one of the defining characteristics of atychiphobia.
You often feel physically sick because of the constant stressing
Being in a perpetual state of worry and apprehension isn't just a nuisance for the mind but for the body as well. It's a well-established fact that stress has a way of showing itself through physical ailments like headaches, panic attacks, sleeplessness, etc. If you experience any of these symptoms, there's a strong chance you have a fear of failure.
It's very natural to have the fear of failure and not know that you have it. Sometimes, just knowing that you have the affliction will prod you to take the appropriate steps including seeing a professional therapist, if the need be.

Once you learn to accept fear as an inevitable part of life, we bet from that day on, you will feel light and unencumbered!