We talk often of success and failure, and there are many books on both, however, did you know both fear of success and fear of failure are phobias?
This made me wonder which might be worse!
Is it worse to fear success or is it worse to fear failure?
Fear of success, or Achievemephobia, stems from feelings of guilt and self-doubt, avoiding any areas of responsibility that one may or will not succeed. Often people who are introverted are more likely to have this phobia preventing them from setting goals for fear of failing. Fear of success also often occurs within the most talented and gifted people who are those who probably would succeed if they would only try.
On the other hand, we have the fear of failure, or Atychiphobia, which is also a phobia. This phobia causes many different indicators and can cause both emotional and physical symptoms causing people to avoid taking opportunities at all costs, both personally and professionally.
Unfortunately, people with this phobia are great at self-sabotage and often will not even start any tasks or projects let alone complete or start them for fear of failing after all the effort they know they would have to put in to carry them out in the knowledge it will undoubtedly go wrong in the end.
If we looked at why we might have developed these phobias in the first place, we could all glance back to our childhood and connect these with certain experiences we had which have caused how we feel today.
If we’ve learned to fear through failing and are a perfectionist, then we could argue we are a great candidate for this phobia.
The other question we might ask ourselves is why some people are afraid to succeed, but not to fail and what situations might make them feel virtually phobic about success.
How can we avoid both phobias and what might we do if we have one or both?
- Mindset – If we always consider the positive first and foremost rather than the negative and break away from the default of thinking the worst, this is a great start
- History – If we have reminders of our past lurking like monsters appearing in the rear-view mirror, do remember they appear bigger than they really are, and look forwards not backwards
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