Fear of Failure - Atychiphobia

Here is a post from Ireland FocalPoint Director Declan Loy:

"I would like to share with you an exciting story about a world class brand.

“Fear of failure is the single biggest obstacle in adult life.”

-Brian Tracy

Fear of failure actually has one of those “phobia” names, it’s called atychiphobia – BUT! it isn’t a disease and it is curable.

Brian Tracy tells a story about a young journalist who asked IBM founder, Thomas J. Watson Sr. how he could become more successful sooner in life. Watson told him, “If you want to be successful faster you must double your rate of failures. Success lies on the far side of failure.”

Brian is in total agreement with Watson, “Fear of failure is the single biggest obstacle in adult life.” In Brian’s mind, and in any successful person’s mind, failure is simply a means to success.

In other words, fear of failure is learned – can you imagine if babies were born with a fear of failure? There wouldn’t be much walking or talking going on, would there?

Think of some of the things that have happened because people weren’t afraid to fail:

  • Computers
  • Cars
  • Airplanes
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Toilets
  • Fire

Better yet, think of some of the amazing things that have been invented by mistake:

  • Brownies
  • Wine
  • Cheese
  • Post-its
  • Cornflakes

There are probably more things created by mistake than on purpose.

My neighbor’s kid accidently poured apple juice on his Cheerios one day and now their whole family does their cereal with juice instead of milk.

To deal with your fear of failure, Brian Tracy suggests you list what it is that frightens you about failing. Then pick the scariest item on that list and ask yourself these three questions:

  1. How does this fear hold you back?
  2. How does this fear help you succeed?
  3. What is the pay-off if you eliminate this fear from your life?

By using Brian Tracy’s method of creating clarity, you can realistically face your fear and deal with it.

Instead of focusing on fears think about solutions:

A FocalPoint Business Coach can help you clarify what it is that scares you about failure and also work with you to develop new lines of attack if your first attempts aren’t successful.


The fear of failure is an

The fear of failure is an obvious sticking point for many people.  It's ironic, but the opposite can also be true -- the fear of success!  As a FocalPoint Business Performance Coach, I've had the pleasure of actually giving permission for my clients to succeed and then seeing it happen!  For a small business, the constraints the business owner places on themselves and their business are generally 80%+ of the constraints holding back that business.

Working with the business owner to understand the constraints usually opens up a whole new vision for their business, bigger goals for themselves & their business and sets up a foundation which enables the business to really rocket forward.  What does it take to move a business to the next level?  One key is to get out of it's way!

With any fear, the biggest problem with the fear is actually the fear itself.  Once you hit it head-on, it generally fades into the background.

Happy Coaching!

Chris Allen, Owner & Professional Business Coach, The Business Spotlight, Inc.

"Lighting the Way to Your Success!"

Cincinnati, Ohio


513-272-6224    [513 27COACH]


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