Health & Wellbeing

Mar 28, 2023 9 min read

Atychiphobia: Understanding the fear of failure

Author is currently working as a senior production engineer in IOCL Gujarat refinery and has a work experience of over twenty years at Panipat refinery. Author is also a trained counselor.


A short note on fear of failing and how it will change in nurturing innovation and experimentation, that inhibits the development physically and professionally and how it is manageable. 

Main content:

“Dispelling the fear of failure: Nurturing innovation & Experimentation”

Fear of failure is the common feeling of human beings. But it should be limited. When it is too much then we cannot do any innovation through experiments. In this competitive world, we need a lot of innovative ideas and new experiments to stabilize our position, continuous growth, and to get respect from colleagues.

 Whenever someone starts a new experiment with an innovative idea, the person faces the fear of failure of the experiment or the Project. It is commonly seen in the case of big organizations as well. It may be any type of experiment; for instance, there is a sense of reluctance even for a small modification or change of the procedure from regular operations of the plant or startup of any new equipment.

 Fear arises when we take a new position, job, location, or assignment. All of these are due to the fear of failure because the consequences that follow might be uncertain. We can define fear of failure as, our own mind thinking as “whether it is right or wrong” while doing something. Normally the mind expects fruitful results all the time. But practically we may not get positive results every time. Once if the individual faces failure he starts hesitating to do another trial in his daily activities or even in his lifetime due to the fear of failure. It affects the person’s attitude, behavior, emotional feeling, and management skills. This inhibits creativity, innovation, and taking new risks in the job. This fear of failure prevents the person from taking a positive action on productive and creative work.

 In clinical terms, this intense fear of failure is called Atychiphobia. Someone with this condition may be scared to try new things, or take risks. It could be either a rational or an irrational fear related to a specific object or situation. If this condition persists, it may develop anxiety disorder, panic attack, and mood disorder. Its severity may vary from person to person. If it becomes too extreme, it makes it difficult to carry on with normal jobs. Individuals who have Atychiphobia miss good opportunities to grow in both personal and professional life.

 A person who has this issue generally faces the same symptoms of a phobia. They may be physically or emotionally disturbed and get triggered more when they think about certain situations in which they might fail.

Following are the symptoms of Atychiphobia

Physical symptoms:

  •      Difficulty in breathing

  •      Unusually Fast heart rate

  •      Tightness or pain in chest

  •      Trembling or Shaking sensation

  •      Dizziness or lightheadedness

  •      Digestive disorder

  •      Hot or cold hashes

  •      Sweating

Emotional symptoms:

  •      Intense feeling of panic or anxiety

  •      Overwhelming need to escape a situation that produced the fear.

  •      Feeling detached from yourself.

  •      Feeling like you have lost control over a situation.

  •      Thinking that you may die or pass out.

  •      Generally feeling powerless over your fear.

 Self-handicapping is another possibility when a person who has Atychiphobia may avoid starting a big project, ultimately failing as a result. The idea usually here is that it is better to fail by not starting than to fail after putting-in a lot of effort.


They have past experiences where they have failed. Especially previous experiences (Trail) might be negative; they might have missed the good job for jumping into a higher salaried job. 

They observe, read, and hear others’ negative experiences in the same field (fear of failing). They want to be a perfectionist even before starting.


To nurture innovation and experimentation, we should remove (change) the fear of failing. 

The person should realize his problem and discuss the issue with a reliable person to get the solution. For that, he should get support from colleagues at the workplace.

The person with Atychiphobia should gain the knowledge of particular projects and details of the equipment through resources, or experienced persons before executing the job with planning. 

Should do the job with team work (planning, discussion, and execution). 

In a nutshell, even after the individual having these issues, mental healthcare professionals will help to improve the condition through the exposure therapy which involves the gradual but repeated exposure to the fear of failure. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).


        From the internet, how can nurture help you?  Part of Health and wellbeing- Mental and emotional 


        Harvard Business Review -Technology and Analytics Enlightened Experimentation: The New Imperative for Innovation by Stefan Thomke from the Magazine (February 2001)                                    

        Nurturing an Innovation Culture in the Workplace by Peter Ackerman

        What Is Atychiphobia and How Can You Manage Fear of Failure?  In the health line.


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Comments (11)

Mahander singh Parihar

This article shares a wide knowledge about the fear of failure in once life, How this fear originates and what disturbances it creates in once life and what are the consequences of this fear. This type of knowledge in such a descriptive way is very helpful. Because sometimes even the individual can't know how this fears enters in his/her life and causes huge disturbance in physical and mental states. Thanks and warm regards to the author and entire HR Vista team for there valuable efforts.

  • 01 Apr 2023

Lalan Kumar Paul

It’s a great article indeed which is quite applicable and useful for many amongst us. The realisation itself is the first step towards recovery from any disorder. Thanks for sharing such information Vengadsalpathy Jee. Eager to see more such learnings from you.

  • 01 Apr 2023

Sreekanth Damodaran

It is a nice and useful article for everyone.

  • 01 Apr 2023

Ram Ji

Congratulations Sir For your best article and i hope it should be continue in future.

  • 06 Apr 2023

Mahendra Pal

Dear Sir Congratulations and best wishes to your Fear to failure article.

  • 06 Apr 2023


It is a very good article covering the problem in length and breadth. A very good attempt. But there are always some scope of betterment what ever you do. I suggest that some self help tips should also be researched and elaborated

  • 08 Apr 2023

Bharathkumar Banoth

it is really good article and helpful sir.....

  • 09 Apr 2023


It’s a great article shares a wide knowledge about the fear of failure which face by human life now a days.Thanks and regard to the R.Vengada salapathy for share this type of article and hope in future wiil be provide of more knowledgeful article.

  • 26 Apr 2023


Dear sir, congratulation for your best article hope you are continue in future.

  • 26 Apr 2023


Dear sir ,It’s a great article and quite applicable and useful for many amongst us.

  • 05 Oct 2023

Dr Jitendra bhagubhai patel

excellent article sir

  • 27 Oct 2023

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