Fear is said to be the most powerful emotion known to humankind. More powerful even than love. Our very survival depends on it. Fear is triggered in the most primitive part of our brain. The part responsible for alerting and protecting us from danger. Keeping us safe. Keeping us alive. Fear in the form of the fight or flight response to stress originated with our earliest ancestors when confronted with life threatening danger.
When the cave man stumbled into the path of a Saber-toothed tiger his fight or flight response was triggered. His heart rate shot up, pumping oxygenated blood to his muscles, his breathing rate increased, blood was diverted from his brain and organs to supply his muscles, and adrenaline was released into his bloodstream. All these things occurred so that he could either fight the tiger or run for his life. We no longer have Saber-toothed tigers to contend with. However today it’s often our own irrational fears that send us running for cover. Let’s take a closer look at what motivates humans to fear…
Fear of failure or “atychiphobia” can be so paralyzing that it can prevent you from moving forward to achieve your true goals. People who suffer from this fear often subconsciously undermine their own efforts to avoid disappointment or failure. Many people who grow up with overly critical parents, carry the humiliation and negativity into adulthood with them. This fear can be show up as a reluctance to try something new, self-sabotage, anxiety, low self-esteem and perfectionism.
The fear of failure can act as the catalyst for mental illness such as generalized anxiety disorder, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Some people with a fear of failure may appear successful in one area such as wealth accumulation, but suffer in their interpersonal relationships. They are unable to achieve a work-life balance and never feel happy no matter how much money they acquire.