Client: 40 years old female presenting with Fear of Failure.
This might not sound like a particularly serious condition because let’s face it, most of us have suffered from fear of failure at some time in our lives.
It becomes more serious when it prevents us from even starting or trying new things, those things that we’d love to experience or achieve and which could make our life so much richer.
My client told me that this fear had been with her all of her life and she’s sick and tired of it stopping her from doing the things she really wants such as getting involved with groups and communities and retraining in a different career.
Many people suffering from atychiphobia (an irrational and persistent fear of failing) don’t even know they have a fear of failure they just know that they haven’t had a lot of success in life but they’re not really sure why.
My client had already signed up and paid for a course to advance her career choices and that she said she was hugely passionate about, yet she hadn't been able to start the course due to procrastination.
Common Signs of Fear of Failure
Fear of failure can stem from an overly critical upbringing or traumatic experiences and common signs include:
~ Feeling a loss of control
Of course, the fear isn’t really a fear of failure, it's the fear of what might happens as a result of that failure and psychologists have identified 5 key consequences that people fear:
~ Experiencing shame and embarrassment
~ Seeing yourself differently
~ Not being sure about the future
~ Upsetting or ‘letting down’ other people
~ Others people losing interest in you
My client gave me permission to share that during her childhood she was never encouraged to do anything in particular, and her parents did not provide good role models in this area. Neither had a career as such, or any outside interests or hobbies.
As such my client has no hobbies and has lacked the confidence to explore any, even though she is an extremely creative woman and longs to be immersed in creative activities. Joining any kind of ‘group’ is also difficult for her as she feels she’s not good enough and will be judged.
My client has managed to carve out a meaningful career for herself but she told me that it’s been like fighting a continuous battle with herself to be seen, in any way at all. This persistent fear of failure is always lurking and it’s been exhausting for her.
When even contemplating going for the things she wants she feels inferior and starts to panic and feel anxious.
I knew BWRT® could work well in this situation but I hadn’t used it before to address this challenge so I was very interested in seeing the results.
BWRT is a highly effective quick intervention psychotherapy based on neuroscience that reprograms the mind. Yes, it actually creates new, more positive neural pathways in the brain. You can read more about BWRT here.
We completed one session of BWRT® to neutralise the neural pathways in the brain that create irrational responses to fear of failing. We created new positive neural pathways (chosen by the client) to replace these responses.
For example Instead of feeling anxious or fearful when contemplating trying something new the replacement response could be to feel calm and confident instead.
After the session, my client told me she felt energised and like her body was vibrating at a higher frequency. She told me that she had a new sense of determination and positivity.
But in this situation, the proof is in the pudding...
She contacted me soon after to tell me that she had just applied for a new job ~ something she’d had her eye on for a while and that will help her move forward towards her career goals. She told me she actually enjoyed filling out the application form, knew she’d be a great fit for the job and handed it in with confidence!
She finally started her course.
She also signed up for an Indian cookery course at the local college as she’s passionate about Asian food. She told me she’s extremely excited about learning some new skills and meeting new people and is feeling no anxiety or self-worth issues about it whatsoever.
Two weeks later she contacted me again: My client told me that since having the therapy she had realised that the only reason she was with her boyfriend was that she was afraid of failing at being a single parent and failing on her own, and in fact, they weren't a goof fit for a relationship. She ended the relationship because she now has the motivation and confidence to do whatever she wants and create the life that she desires.
BWRT really is a life-changing modality.
We completed just one session of BWRT®.
If you'd like to find out more about BWRT® and how it could help you can book a free, confidential and no-obligation initial chat here.
I am based in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire but I work with clients from all over the world as sessions take place via Zoom.
Life Coaching & Psychotherapy
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Hannah Anstee is a former British Wellness Journalist turned Women’s Midlife & Wellbeing Coach.
You may know her from her work as Beauty Editor at YOGA Magazine or her contributions to The Independent or Psychologies Magazine.
Hannah uses a kind and candid approach to help women rewrite their stories.