Are you afraid of failing? If you say yes, then you are not alone. Fear of failure procrastination has ruined millions of children, teens, and adults.
Sometimes, the fear may become so resilient that you hesitate to take a single step to productivity. When you feel, you can not make things right, you are unconsciously vandalizing your chances of success.
However, you can not disagree that fear is an inseparable part of human nature. But examining your own failure is very tough. It takes time to recognize the causes of fear of failure. Again, learning the ways to overcome them is very challenging.
Therefore, in today’s blog, we will discuss the prime causes of fear of failure. At the same time, we will present you with 7 effective ways and tricks to defeat them.
If you apply them, you can enjoy a blissful and successful personal and professional life. Lets’ dig deeper!
What Do You Mean by Fear Of Failure
American Psychological Association has defined fear of failure in 2007 in the following way. It is also termed atychiphobia.
Persistent and irrational anxiety about failing to measure up to the standards and goals set by oneself or others. This may include anxiety over academic standing, losing a job, sexual inadequacy, or loss of face and self-esteem. Fear of failure may be associated with perfectionism and is implicated in a number of psychological disorders, including eating disorders and some anxiety disorders.American Psychological Association
7 Causes of Fear of Failure
It varies from individual to individual. You will find numerous causes behind this. But here, we have enlisted 7 logical causes that will apply for all. Let’s learn more!
1. Unsupportive and Critical-minded Parents
Parents are the most influential and supportive persons in your life. They contribute a lot in shaping your personality, way of working and thinking. Their exact guideline leads you to success.
On the contrary, if they are unsupportive and always criticize your failure, the bright sky of your hope, expectation, mentality, and future will get darkened.
Studies have shown that children carry a sense of humiliation caused by their parents even in adulthood. If your parents did not treat your mistakes in a constructive way, it might appear as the vital cause behind your fear of failure.
The book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” written by Robert Kiyosaki explains that negative comments from parents affect the children’s attitude towards everything.
2. Experiencing a Traumatic Situation
Sometimes, fear of failure generates after passing through a traumatic situation. To make it clear, we will visualize an example here.
Suppose, you lead a team. Making teamwork a dreamwork is your motto. And you had to manage your project during a hard time of your organization.
You got limited resources that hardly met your necessity. Again, your teammates were not efficient enough. As a result, you failed in the project.
Therefore, experiencing an event like this will create a sense of fear and failure. Besides, this sensation may bar you from taking the position of a team leader in future.
But it is also true that you will be more resilient if you experience failures in life particularly at a young stage.
3. Pricking Sensation of Your Ego
Ego plays a significant role in our life, and nobody wants to hurt it. But when you fail, it gets pricked. Similarly, failure scares you and prevents you from venturing into the unknown.
Consequently, you may keep yourself away from trying new things and challenging tasks. For example, you will never dare to start a new business or learn new skills.
Most importantly, if you follow this tendency throughout your entire life, you won’t be able to pursue your dream. Again, you will never discover what your point of living is.
4. Overindulgence With Your Social Status
It states your tendency to value others’ opinion in your personal as well as professional life. As human beings, you live in a society and work hard to establish a good reputation or image.
You always try to show your best in front of people. You turn no stone unturned to impress them. In the same vein, you fear failure, thinking what others will say of it.
Moreover, you do not want to lose your present social status. As a result, you do not strive for the new, fearing failure.
Therefore, putting too much importance to maintain your social status is another prominent cause of fear of failure. It will eventually deprive you to live all your life.
5. Tendency of Perfectionism
There is someone in your life who always expects to accomplish his/her tasks with utmost perfection. Even you yourself may be one of them.
This is to say, if you are a perfectionist, you will feel displeased in case anything goes wrong. You become disappointed if a single task does not meet the highest standards.
If you have this feeling, you certainly bear the fear of failure. But you should keep in mind that everything can not be done with such extreme perfection. Nothing is beyond flaw.
6. Being The Victim of Other’s Excellencies
In society, our superiors want to shape our lives. They expect us to get work done more efficiently in their way. Thus, you may fall victim of other’s perfectionism.
For an instance, your parents want you to study law. But you cherish something different from your childhood. You always dreamt to be an engineer. Under such circumstances, you won’t be able to focus on either part. Your efforts will result in failure.
Again, you do not want to hurt your parents and fail them too. All these factors are responsible for creating fear of failure in you.
7. Undermine Your Self-confidence
According to fear of failure psychology, sabotaging your self-confidence is another notable cause of your failure. Just think, do you want to see your own collapse? Of course not.
That’s why, when we talk about self-confidence, you always try to contribute your full potential to bring about the best outcome.
As you do not want to believe, you fail yourself, you may fear failure.
Some Fear of Failure Quotes
Here, we have collected some influential fear quotes to make you more cautious and efficient. These will inspire you to stay on track even in grim danger. So, let’s look at them!
Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.Winston Churchill
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”— Robert F. Kennedy
“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.”— Confucious
“I’ve come to believe that all my past failure and frustrations were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy.”— Tony Robbins
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”― Paulo Coelho
Symptoms That Indicate You Have Fear of Failure
Everyone does not feel the fear of failure in the same way. It ranges from mild to extreme in the scale of severity. However, if you have atychiphobia, it can reach such an extent that will completely paralyze you.
You won’t be able to concentrate on your tasks at home, school, job, or business. As a result, you may lose great chances both in your professional and personal life.
Symptoms that are experienced in atychiphobia also vary from person to person. They include physical as well as emotional characteristics. Let’s have a look!
- Difficulty breathing.
- Quick abnormal heart-beat rate.
- Pain or tightness in the chest.
- Trembling sensations.
- Lightheadedness or dizziness.
- Excessive sweating.
- Cold or hot flashes.
- Digestive problem.
- An extreme level of anxiety or feeling panicked.
- Feeling urgency to get rid of the fear-producing situation.
- Feeling isolated from your own self.
- A sensation of losing control over the situation.
- Feeling of death.
- A powerless feeling over your fear.
What Is Procrastination
Procrastination is not a new trait in human nature. It prevails in our behaviour generations after generations. Even the Greek Philosophers like Socrates and Aristotle had termed it as Akrasia.
An article published in James Clear, defines procrastination as,
Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing a task or set of tasks. So, whether you refer to it as procrastination or akrasia or something else, it is the force that prevents you from following through on what you set out to do.
Why Fear of Failure Causes Procrastination
Generally speaking, more or less we all fear to go beyond the line. However, you may fear completing your tasks on time. For example, imagine that you are assigned a task by your supervisor, and you must accomplish it using a project management software.
But the fact is that you have a little knowledge of the tool. In this case, you may fear failure, perceiving the consequences of your action. Besides, you will feel worried and stressed, thinking of the negative comments of your colleagues on your ability.
Again, assume that you would like to learn how to play a guitar. But you are frustrated thinking what the instructor will say if you can not apply the techniques properly. Besides, you are concerned about how it will sound to others when you will practice playing the guitar.
Now, tell me what are the consequences? You only kept on thinking and thinking without taking any effective steps. These are the causes of procrastination.
It clearly portrays that your fear of failure is feeding your procrastination. You are hesitating to work efficiently simply to avoid your failure. You do not have the courage to face challenging situations. This is why your fear of failure procrastination arises.
How Can You Overcome The Fear of Failure Procrastination?
Overcoming fear of failure is not an easy task. It requires your utmost dedication and perseverance. Besides, you have to change your way of thinking. You should try to know yourself and work for self-improvement.
1. Identify The Source of Your Fear
Try to find out the root cause of your problem. Never ignore any possible sources. As we have shown you some reliable causes of fear of failure, you can relate them too.
After recognizing the place of its origin, you should write it down in an analog to-do list. Then try to realize it from the third person perspective.
If the process works, pretend to help someone else with great care. Does not treat it as your problem.
However, the source of your fear may spring from any childhood incident or insecurity. Recognizing the source is the first step to overcome your fear of failure.
2. Restructure Your Goals
Goal keeps you focused. But sometimes, the tension of accomplishing it may create fear of failure. So, to overcome it, you should change your belief related to your goals.
You should not concentrate on completing your tasks alone. Your goal should include some spaces to learn new skills.
When you combine improvement and learning in your goal, there will be less possibility of failure. As a result, your fear of failure will also be eradicated.
However, if you would like to know more about organizing your goal, read the following article.
3. Develop a Positive Attitude
Your behavior and action depends on your internal thinking. You trust what you disclose yourself.
We are so obsessed with success that sometimes we forget, failure is an integral part of it. If you look back in history, you will see even the most successful individuals had to taste failure.
For example, we all know the story of King Robert Bruce who teaches us not to give up anything until you get success.
Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Inc, was fired once from his own company. Again, a Newspaper company sacked Walt Disney on the excuse that he was not creative. Besides, he also failed towards the beginning of founding an animation studio. But now tell me who does not know Disney World?
There are numerous stories like these in history. They never ignored the value of working hard and never paid heed to others’ negative feedback. If they value others’ opinion much, they would have never reached their destination.
Now, it is your turn to evaluate yourself. Let your negative thoughts be replaced by positive ones. You can change your life by changing your mind.
Thus, a positive attitude will help you to overcome the fear of failure procrastination.
4. Envision The Outcomes of Your Decision
Nobody knows what will happen next, and it creates fear. So, calculate the possible outcome of your decision. Be prepared for the best and worst situations. When you have mental setup like this, fear of failure can not engulf you.
Now, you can perceive what success means to you. Take your time, think wisely, and make your decision.
5. Don’t Lose Hope at the Worst-Case Scenario
Nothing goes in the same flow all the time. The worst-happenings are quite natural, and sometimes they seem to be devastating. But it does not mean the end of the world.
Under such a situation, your first duty is to determine how disastrous the scenario is in terms of your life. Sometimes, you may consider the situation more powerful than it really is.
For instance, you started a business but ended up in failure. What should you do after that? Always remember that failure is not permanent. It is the beginning of something new. Change your state of mind towards the worst-case scenario and beat your fear of failure.
6. Always Think of a Backup Plan
Your fear may trigger several times if you do not have any backup plan. Here goes the wise exiom,
“Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”
A backup plan increases your self-confidence and provides the courage to take risks. For example, you have applied for a loan to start a new business. But if you do not get the money, what are the other sources of your funding?
When you have this answer, it will be easier for you to face any inconveniences. Besides, it will help you to be productive in economics in your life. So, preparing a backup plan will mitigate your trepidation of the possible failure.
7. Learn From The Past
Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.
Everything will not happen as per your plan. It does not assert failure. Therefore, learn from your every step. The initiatives that did not work well may lead you to another opportunity.
Analyze your mistakes. Think deeply. When you would be able to realize, failure is a process of development rather than doom, you could vanquish fear of failure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question 1: Is fear of failure a mental illness?
Answer: Generally, phobia refers to irrational fears towards specific situations or objects. More consciously speaking, if you are experiencing fear of failure, you are suffering from atychiphobia. However, it may also spring from an anxiety disorder, mood disorder, or eating disorder.
Question 2: How can you avoid failure?
Answer: You will find tons of tips to alienate failure. But all of them may not suit you. Here, we have chosen some effective tips and tricks to help you out. Let’s have a look!
* Recognize your feelings.
* Be constructive.
* Seek self-improvement.
* Have faith in your self-esteem.
* Learn from the situations.
* Discover your inspiration.
Question 3: What to do after failing?
Answer: Most of us lose track after failing anything. You may not be an exception to it. Keeping this in mind, we have sorted out some essential guidelines that you may follow. Here, they go!
* Incorporate with your emotions.
* Identify your faulty steps.
* Grow the habit of healthy coping skills.
* Develop a sense of responsibility.
* Change your attitude towards failure.
* Analyze famous failure cases.
Question 4: Why is it OK to fail?
Answer: There goes the famous saying, “Failure is the pillar of success”.
Failures are the sweets of adversity. They visit you to strengthen your ability. They give you the window to dig deeper and accumulate new understandings. Failures enable you to realize what your expectations are and where you are heading to.
So, it is ok to fail because you can shed light on your future based on your experiences learned from the failures.
Question 5: Why is the fear of failure bad?
Answer: Failure in life is welcome. But fear of failure can not be accepted as it engulfs you within the cycle of procrastination. Obviously, you do not expect to fail in your attempts. This fear bars you from even trying a new thing. Thus, you destroy your own creativity and intellectuality. Your bright future gets clouded.
Final Verdict on Fear Of Failure Procrastination
To sum up, we can say that fear of failure procrastination is a curse that can create a massive havoc in your way of progress. So, it is high time, you should take proper initiatives against this issue.
First, figure out the causes and then try to solve them step by step. Reframe your thoughts. Do not be enchained by your bad habits. Learn new skills to be more productive. Expand your 24 hours to 5o hours in a day.
Treat your failures as the sources of inspiration. Do not bother what others say about you.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” -Thomas A. Edison
Always keep in mind, failure makes you strong. They are the blessings in disguise. We believe following our tips you will learn how to avoid procrastination and fear of failure.