What Exacly is Atychiphobia?

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Atychiphobia is basically the fear of failure, fear of failing, a failing fear or anything that has to do with the “presumed” idea of the atychiphobe that he or she will not successfully complete any given task unless he or she knows with absolute positivity that they will complete the task to perfection. Atychiphobia is much like any other phobia because it is an irrational fear.

No major studies have been done on this specific type of phobia, however, most phobias carry the same traits, just a different fear and many people can lead productive lives with atychiphobia. Once a phobia, such as fear of failure, reaches the point of the person being unable to live their lives productively, then professional mental intervention needs to occur.

Acute Symptoms of Atychiphobia

The acute symptoms of atychiphobia, the fear of failure, are much the same as other types of phobias.Symptoms mimic that of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Studies about phobias in general have shown that most phobics that fall into the social phobia group, as do atychiphobes, also suffer from daily GAD. Acute symptoms of atychiphobia:

  • An overwhelming feeling of anxiety that often leads to an anxiety attack

  • A variety of sudden digestive issues

  • Headache

  • Muscle ache and tension

  • Hot flashes and sweating

  • Clammy hands

For a person with atychiphobia, acute symptoms occur, for example, when they are called up for a promotion, are asked to complete a task they have never done before, or when they have to try something new without any assurance of success.

Most atychiphobes also have a need for perfectionism. If they do not have their own personal assurance that success is affirmative and failure is not possible then they will avoid that type of situation. More severe symptoms of atychiphobia involve people that will not move on in life, will not excel in their job or purpose, and withdraw themselves from any activities that would exacerbate their atychiphobia.

What Causes Atychiphobia

No research has been conducted to put an accurate and specific ‘cause’ of atychiphobia, however, many mental health professionals believe, like most phobias, that the cause is rooted in their childhood or adolescence. They believe that during this time something traumatized the person and left them with the lasting impression and fear, in this case, the fear of failure. Some common theorized causes of atychiphobia are childhoods that included parents who placed an unreachable standard for their child, put a stigma on failure, or other events where the child failed at something and the embarrassment and humiliation carried on into their adulthood.

Leading a normal life with atycossible for some who have it. Some cases are less severe than others or some with the fear of failure have sought out therapy to deal with their atychiphobia. Others, however, have allowed the atychiphobia to take over their life and they have become stagnate. Their fear of failure has lead them to lead lives that do not go forward, and in essence, some people with atychiphobia do fail in life because their quality of life is diminished due to their unwavering fear of failure.


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