How Atychiphobia Affects School Performance?

In this article, we'll look at a type of phobia that's characterized by the fear of failure. We'll also look at how atychiphobia affects children's school performance and ways to help them overcome it.
How Atychiphobia Affects School Performance?
María Matilde

Written and verified by the pedagogue and trainer María Matilde.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Among the many phobias that exist, atychiphobia refers to a fear of failure. In the following article, we’ll look at how atychiphobia affects different areas of life, including school performance.

When a person has an intense fear of a certain thing, person or situation, then we’re talking about a phobia. Therefore, a phobia is an emotional mental health disorder that’s characterized by an irrational and disproportionate fear that’s of an unhealthy nature and is very difficult to control.

What is atychiphobia?

When we talk about atychiphobia, we’re talking about a phobia that consists of a persistent and unjustified panic toward failure, mistakes and errors. This fear of failure can apply to many areas of our lives, whether it’s daily, academic or professional.

Like any other phobia, atychiphobia makes it impossible for a person to fully develop and act. This is because it limits and conditions them from facing situations and carrying out their activities and tasks correctly.

Therefore, it’s important to overcome any kind of phobia, as it’s an impediment that reduces the quality of life of the people who suffer from it.


In the case of atychiphobia and the fear of failure, it’s not something that appears overnight. Rather, develops progressively during some stage of a person’s life.

The most common symptoms that those who suffer from atychiphobia experience are the following:

How Atychiphobia Affects School Performance?

How atychiphobia affects people on a cognitive level

  • High levels of self-demand.
  • Extreme rigidity, discipline and structure regarding oneself and one’s tasks.
  • A never-ending search for perfection in all activities.
  • Lack of self-esteem and high negative self-criticism.
  • Feeling guilt in the face of failure.
  • Loss of control of the situation.

How atychiphobia affects people on a physical level

  • Episodes of anxiety or panic.
  • Headaches or stomachaches, tremors, sweating, tachycardia and dizziness when it’s time to face situations, activities or people.
  • Black-out: Momentary memory loss.


With respect to the possible causes that produce this irrational fear of failure, they can be many and have to do with various factors. Sometimes, this phobia can affect people who have a very self-demanding personality. Or, on the contrary, others who, without having this type of personality, have been the subjects of many demands.

Therefore, the causes may be diverse and related to the demands of our current competitive society, which demands success in all facets of life. Or the causes may be related to situations or demands that take place within the family.

How atychiphobia affects school performance

Sometimes the panic of failure is related to the academic environment. This can mean that a student may be afraid, for example, of failing in social relationships within the school environment. Or they may panic in the face of school activities or homework, fearing that they won’t be able to do them perfectly. Not to mention the uncontrollable fear of not doing well on school exams and getting poor grades.

Atychiphobia affects a person both psychologically and emotionally. And, therefore, it affects the school performance of students who suffer from it. Its consequences can include:

  • High levels of anxiety and stress. Panic attacks.
  • Health problems linked to the same symptoms of this phobia, such as hyperventilation, panic attacks, dizziness, sweating, headaches, etc.
  • Low academic performance. In some cases, there are students with atychiphobia who have acceptable school performance and good grades. However, the problem is the high emotional stakes that they place on excelling and, therefore, the consequences that this may entail.
  • Difficulties in relating, interacting and communicating with others.
How Atychiphobia Affects School Performance?

How to get rid of the fear of failure…

The first step in helping people who have atychiphobia is for them to accept they have this problem. They must also recognize their excessive fear of failure and understand that it’s this same fear that prevents them from being able to move forward and develop fully. In other words, it’s precisely this fear that paralyzes and blocks them and doesn’t allow them to achieve good results in their activities and endeavors.

Therefore, help from professionals is essential to correctly diagnose and treat atyphobia. It’s the specialists who address the possible causes that produce the phobia and determine the most appropriate and necessary techniques and therapies to treat it.

However, while professionals are the ones who will set the specific guidelines to follow with people who suffer from atychiphobia, there are some strategies that can be helpful. In this case, considering the school context, teachers, peers and family members can consider the following actions:

  • Accepting mistakes as a fundamental part in all areas of life and in all learning processes.
  • Modify the perception of failure. Focus on the positive aspects of failure, based on the fact that people, even with great capacity and knowledge, are willing to take risks and sometimes fail.
  • Motivate and encourage the atychiphobic student, trying to keep negative thoughts out of their mind.
  • Constantly value the effort made by students with this phobia in their daily lives and not only when they have to face a situation that’s more complicated for them.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.