Tuesday, July, 16,2024

Latest News

PSYCHOLOGY: FEAR OF FAILURE

In psychology, there is a group of problems related to state of the mind issues clustered together as specific phobia. One of these problems is called atychiphobia which means a situation where a person is perpetually under fear of failure. Here, the affected person is never sure of himself even for most trivial things and simplest of decisions. A constant feeling that something would go wrong hovers in thoughts of such a person constantly. There is extreme fear of failure on a constant basis that affects day to day working of the affected person.

Such people tend to procrastinate. They go on postponing and delaying even the minor tasks of life leading to severe degree of anxiety as the worksheet piles up. This anxiety, in turn, leads to unhelpful behavior and aggression. The fear phobia may spread in some other form as well like fear of spiders or closed and confined spaces. With time, such people start believing that their projects won’t succeed, goals would not be achieved. As a result of this extreme negativity and consequent lack of initiative, depression might take root in their lives.

Atychiphobia is not an official diagnosis but is one of the phobias but procrastination caused by this personality trait interfere in decision making even for trivial matters like buying a shaving blade or or ice cream bar. Lack of decisiveness ultimately leads to physical symptoms because of a long period of stress. The affected person may have faster heart rate, faster and shallower breathing, sweating and muscle tension. Extreme anxiety disrupts family relationships and marital happiness. Lots of opportunities are missed and hobbies never materialize.

Social life and life at the workplace both suffer significantly because of persistent fear of failure leading to inability to decide. It should be noted that fear of failure is not a psychiatrist condition, it is a personality disorder. One shouldn’t rush to a psychiatrist. It would always be better to introspect first and find the underlying reason for failure. One should try to find the root cause of fear which may be traced to childhood parenting or schooling. Highly protected children or those who are excessively motivated during early life are seen to be more prone to fear of failure. Similarly, children or young adults whose self esteem was destroyed at home or outside, usually stay fearful of failure and unsure of their abilities.

It should be remembered that failure too is an experience. Any form of achievement in life is a mixed brew of success and failure. People with negative past experiences may carry many memories which make them fearful for the rest of their life. Similarly, role modeling one’s life on some highly successful person and then not achieving it may also lead to fear of failure for a short or long period of time. Highly motivational childhood teaching may also prove to be counterproductive and so might do imprecation. Both these extremes make a person vulnerable to an indecisive attitude.

As far as management of atychiphobia is concerned it has to be through talk treatment by a very skilled counselor. It is to be noted that counseling in India is in its nascent stage. Most of the counselors base their therapy on monotonous textbook models and many of them are judgemental. A counselor with wide reading in philosophy and literary fiction can be of good help to rid a person of fear of failure. Talk treatment is expensive and may or may not help depending upon skill of the therapist and willingness of the person to reorient. As a result, a large number of people take the easy route of prescription tranquilizers. These medicines are of limited actual value in case of this psychological disorder because they do not change the underlying behavior issue and as such might cause harm by creating a false sense that all is well.

SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS

A constant feeling that something would go wrong hovers in thoughts of such a person constantly. There is extreme fear of failure on a constant basis that affects day to day working of the affected person.

This anxiety, in turn, leads to unhelpful behavior and aggression. The phobia may spread in some other form as well like fear of spiders or closed and confined spaces. With time, such people start believing that their projects won’t succeed, goals would not be achieved.

Atychiphobia is not an official diagnosis but is one of the phobias but procrastination caused by this personality trait interfere in decision making even for trivial matters like buying a shaving blade or or ice cream bar. Lack of decisiveness ultimately leads to physical symptoms because of a long period of stress.

THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY THE AUTHOR ARE PERSONAL

Dr Ramavtar Sharma The writer is a Physician and Columnist

  Share on

Related News