The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there is no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist.”

–Steven Pressfield (Author)

Atychiphobia (from the Greek phóbos, meaning “fear” or “morbid fear” and atyches meaning “unfortunate”) is the abnormal, unwarranted, and persistent fear of failure. As with many phobias, atychiphobia often leads to a constricted lifestyle, and is particularly devastating for its effects on a person’s willingness to attempt certain activities.

Many people suffer from at least some form of atychiphobia. They like to stay in their comfort zone and play it safe. It is said that if you start a fire, you risk getting burnt, however, without the fire, you will freeze to death. Many people prefer to freeze for fear of failure. They usually understand that failure is a step on the way to success, but continue to stay in their safe zones.

“The Science Approach”

Scientists know that an experiment is never truly a failure; it only shows us ways that won’t work, so we are better prepared next time. Instead of seeing failure as a mistake, it is seen as a lesson.  Failure happens to everyone. The only thing that differentiates those who succeed from those who don’t is a proper understanding of the power of failure.

The motivational speaker, Les Brown said “The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.”

What extraordinary talents do you have that you have chosen to hide, or not pursue for fear of failure?  Success is about learning to recognize why you failed and how you are going to compensate for it. While success will propel you by a small amount, failure will build and forge your character and personality like nothing else will. Failure makes you stronger, and builds your character, and that is more important than all the money and prominence in the world. Nothing good comes easy.

The biggest enemy of success is fear of failure. So when fear knocks at your door, send courage to open the door and success will wait for you.

Fear is an enemy of success. Those who are afraid to step out of their comfort zones stay lukewarm and are left wondering when they are going to get their big break. The opportunities are there, it’s up to us to go find them.

Below are some example of well known people who overcame difficulties in reaching their goals

  • Richard Branson is dyslexic and was a poor student. Despite the difficulties and challenges posed by his acknowledged dyslexia, his gifted interpersonal and business talents drove him to succeed.
  • Vincent Van Gogh sold only one painting in his entire life
  • Nelson Mandela was expelled from university.
  • Steven speilberg was rejected from film school 3 times
  • Oprah Winfrey was fired from one of her jobs because she was considered unfit for tv.
  • Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team
  • Akio Morita‘s first product, a rice-cooker that actually just burned rice, only sold 100 units. His company is now called Sony.

Even when we come to our country Ghana, we can speak of Kennedy Agyepong, who overcame bullies in school and business to become a highly respected businessman and politician; Bishop Agyin Asare was a marijuana addict before accepting Christ. Roland Agambire, a hugely successful entrepreneur, who once pushed trucks and washed dishes, says that poverty toughened him up.

The people above have left an indelible mark in history; they faced incredible obstacles, but managed to overcome them. So I ask you, what is your excuse? Failure can be a stumbling block or a stepping stone, depending on what you decide to make of it. Remember, we are products of our decisions, not our circumstances.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here