Many people suffer from atychiphobia and they are not aware of it. What is atychiphobia you may ask? It is the devastating fear of failure. You may not believe it yourself that you are suffering from a fear of failure but has there ever been a time when you did not volunteer to give a presentation that landed someone else a big promotion? Have you ever been told to apply for a job that you know would be more money and a better lifestyle but withheld for fear of not getting the job? Have you ever not asked out a person on a date because you thought they were too good for you? These are signs that you have a fear of failure and are lacking grit.
Grit (definition): Courage and resolve; strength of character
The prevalence of fear of failure may be due in part to people losing grit or perseverance. The millenials have had it easy, many things being handed to them on a silver platter. Although the term millenials may not apply to people in their 30s and 40s, they are still guilty of the same thing. Think back to when your grandparents worked, or to stories you have heard about them. They probably worked their way up in the same company over thirty or forty years only to retire in the same company, but with benefits and retirement funds. Today, we are jumping around from one job to the next only to find we are making a smidge more money and starting over with our savings. And who do we blame? Our employers, or our parents, or our friends.
Grit is something that is developed through hard work. It is the woman who gets up at five a.m. to go for a run before her busy day begins with her children and then the office. It is the man who pushes for a raise by taking on new and challenging projects and not settling in to the same old same old. Being brave and having courage powers grit. So the next time your boss offers up a chance to present to new clients, or your best friend asks you to sign-up for the marathon, enrich your grit and dive in head first. In this day in age where everyone gets a trophy, go for the gold.
Ashley Devonshire, M.ED – Clarity Clinic Chicago