FEAR OF FAILURE

TOPIC: FEAR OF FAILURE

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Fear is well defined as perceived danger which results in changes in metabolic and organic body functions. These changes results in difference in behavior such as fleeing, hiding or freezing from perceived traumatic events. One of the perceived dangers can be failure. The fear of failure which is also referred to as Atychiphobia is one of the most common fears faced by most young people. This happens mostly when they have had a chance to be at the top of their game at all times. When they have uncertainty in some outcomes they get afraid an eventually fail. Sometimes it’s the fear to fail that actually causes one to fail. The causes of fear of failure include; an individual’s perfectionism, the perfectionism of the people around them, personalization of issues, lack of self-confidence and childhood experiences.

Perfectionism occurs when an individual is obsessed with things being in a straight line as he or she intended them to be. They like things being perfect when in reality things can never be perfect. Things may seem on point in one’s eyes and the other may identify fault in them. When such individuals meet people that can identify fault in their supposedly perfect work it gives them a sense of failure and loss. They feel like they have started failing and eventually fear is created and self-doubt sets in too. They associate the people that point out their imperfection with failure and some even grow hatred towards them. The other cause of fear of failure is perfectionism in the people around us. People feel like they have a duty to prove their success to the people around them or the people around them expect them to succeed so they pass in order to live up to those expectations. For example the freshmen students at Smith College, after passing all the tests and being there by merit with regards to excellent grades, they feel the need to maintain the status. Their parents, tutors as well as their fellow students may exert intentional of unintentional fear in them to ensure they succeed too. Hence the need for resilience departments in institutions to ensure sanity in students that may be under such pressure.

Lack of self-confidence is one of the causes of fear. When one does not believe in their abilities he or she only focuses on perfectionism thinking it makes them successful. In real sense only those that don’t believe in their abilities will need approval and recognition which means they have to succeed and surpass all the laid limits. They believe that failure is a set back and they will do all they can to be among those that are known to be at the top of things. The truth is that they may just be afraid to be failing and most of the time they might not even be having any interest in the specific topic or subject. This can be in the case of club admission, joining different sports or even academic tests. Some students try so hard to join some clubs not because they have an interest but they intentionally just fear being pointed out as “the one who didn’t make it through the club admissions.” These types of people live in their heads. They mostly listen to what people say about them and it tremendously affects them. Those that have self-confidence will mind little of what people will say about them. In fact they believe in themselves and do things mainly to make them happy and to have inward fulfillment.

Our past events in life affect our present and how we deal with life events at the moment. How we talk, how we react to issues, how we solve our problems and how we think of the people and situations around us. For example, there are children that know that if they fail they will be punished by something they love being withdrawn from them. So they grew up working hard to guard them just so that they can’t be deprived the joy of their favorite toys, I pads or privileges at home. When such a child grows up they seem to always want to fight for their space. They also think that it’s always a struggle, a give and take kind of situation. I give you good grades I get and keep my phone, watching my favorite program or keep going to my friends party. When older they bring the same fight in real life and always want to win. So when they perceive danger or the toughness of a situation to mean that they can no longer win as they are used to. This causes fear to creep in and that’s how they get fear of failure.

Fear caused by personalization occurs when a person does not see any good in themselves. In case of a failure they start to blame themselves and condemning themselves thinking that they “if they did this or that better” they would have succeeded. They honestly don’t feel good about themselves. In the real sense the failure might have been caused by external factors like the weather, other group members or lack of proper financing, yet they still feel that they are the ones to blame. This may also have resulted from their childhood experiences. For example where nothing they did was considered good enough. This makes them think that they are the problem and not the situation or the people around them. These are the type of people that are obsessed with success just to prove that they are better that what others thought of them. On the other hand they could also relax and make no effort at all in doing anything because no matter what they do they think they are failures.

Contrary to the norm of thinking of fear in a negative way, Karen Simpson brings out the idea of viewing fear as a form of imagination just like that of a child. Fear is caused by things we see like a curtain swaying in a dark room. Then what we see is accompanied by our human imagination to create an idea of what it would be. Then the fear in us makes us think that the house might be haunted or there could be a person behind the curtain. What if the window was slightly open and it was just the wind blowing the curtain open? What if there was a rat that passed by and swayed the curtain. Fear is actually created from our active imagination. We also perceive fear to be created from big things such as the monsters chasing us, being eaten by ogres or finding yourself in a haunted house alone in a stormy night, or just like the sailors who feared the carnivores more than they did starvation. Sometimes the things we fear are the simplest but when we talk of fear we only bring up the big scenarios. Starvation was right at the face of the sailors but they only thought of the unknown. They knew what it meant to be hungry and they knew that starvation was real but then they chose to fear the unknown. The carnivores that they had only heard of, whether it was true or not they dint know. Yet they risked it all for the fear of the carnivores.

In conclusion, fear and its fear have been broken down into the simplest ways through the video as well as the article. It is well known and clear that failure is not only a mountain to overcome or a situation to fight but it is also a sharpening process to greatness. With all the great professors and successful students expressing their failure for all to see them, then it is well evident that failure is not a disease or a plague it’s all a part of the sharpening process. From that I believe that one needs to believe in themselves despite their childhood experiences, as well as understand that nothing can ever be perfect in everyone’s eyes.