Fear of Failure

Fear of failure acts as a handicap to many of us. So it is necessary to understand this fear.

When we allow something to stop us from carrying out our work…work that can take us forward to achieve our goals; we need to recognise it as our fear of failure.

I am Satish Kakri and I will talk about this malady by explaining five facts of this Fear.

  1. Definition
  2. Symptoms
  3. Causes
  4. Ill effects
  5. Remedy through The Bhagavad Gita

Fear of failure is known as ‘atychiphobia’. Like many other phobias it’s an aspect of personality which always stands in the way of our progress. This hinders our growth by lowering our confidence, erodes our will power and attacks our discipline. It may be a part of another mood disorder like anxiety, worry, eating more, etc.
Therefore it is necessary to understand and ensure that atychiphobia is eradicated from our personality.

You tend to become physically fatigued and mentally drained.
Lose all initiative to do anything new. Laziness becomes your habit. The situation does not allow you to think creatively. Personal initiative goes missing. You don’t want to work on anything that requires application of mind or physical hard work. Habit of procrastination ruins your daily routine.

There are many causes for the fear of failure. Conspicuous among them are unsupportive parents. They keep on repeating to the child that ‘you are good for nothing’. Bullies in the school or society also contribute to heighten the fear.
Our education system in India is also responsible for adding to the fear of failure in the minds of students. They are judged only on the basis of their scores in the final exams. No life skills are taught. It is not a part of curriculum.
In fact the system creates graduates without any practical knowledge about how to deal with life and its problems. Social prejudices form yet another cause to contribute to the malady.

Ill Effects:
As a result of this fear of failure, the person suffers a lot. One remains always tired & fatigued. The individual starts worrying on even small things. Chronic overthinking badly affects the health of the person. Emotional intelligence goes for a toss. The ability to face difficult situations or difficult people goes down the drain. The person starts thinking life is a burden and not worth living.

How to remove the Fear of Failure and the role of the Bhagavad Gita?

The Bhagavad Gita gives the best solution. The core message of Gita is that everyone must perform his/her duty without attachment. No doubt attachment is the main culprit for our fear of failure. Our attachment to the desired results and uncertainty associated with it aggravates the fear.
In chapter 1 Arjun expresses to Lord Krishna that he doesn’t want to fight the battle with his own relatives because war will result in killing his own people on both the sides. Killing one’s elders respected people teachers even grandfathers and other revered people will only result in total disaster of the families.
Further, he says that he doesn’t not know who will win. Thus Arjun is deeply attached to the results and totally ignores his duty to fight the righteous war.

Lord Krishna explains to Arjuna that one has to perform one’s duty without any attachment. The moment you are not attached to the result, fear of failure vanishes. As there is nothing to loose, there won’t be any fear. Attachment is the root cause of all sufferings.

According to the psychologists there are a number of steps that need to be taken to remove the fear of failure. These are like understanding situation, finding alternatives, strengthening will power, controlling emotions, understanding dangers of life etc. Bhagavad Gita addresses all these issues.

Two major lessons of Gita are:
That one must perform one’s duty without attachment, without fear or remorse. They should not be afraid of even death. Soul in immortal. It never dies. Soul just changes body.

Gita seeks to empower you to overcome the biggest human fear- the fear of death itself. In such a case, no other lesser fear including the Fear of Failure will stop you from working your way up.. to reach your target. Without the Fear of failure you wholeheartedly work and achieve your goal!

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