Atychiphobia, fear of being wrong

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    Atychiphobia is the fear of being wrong, or rather the fear of being told we’re wrong. It can be one of the most debilitating emotional conditions we could ever experience.  Understanding this fear, and where it impacts you can help towards challenging and addressing it.

    See my Youtube video on atychiphobia

    The fear of being wrong can manifest itself when you consider breaking a habit, or doing something new and different in your life. You feel risk, uncertainty and doubt. What if it’s wrong?  What if I fail? There are times that when you need to make changes to your life to your brain does a great job of convincing you that things aren’t that bad, and you settle for the mundane, bad treatment and bad practices in order to avoid the conflict of change.

    Paralysis through Analysis

    The fear can even have us grind to a halt when it comes to making decisions. Imagine for example picking a new phone. The choice could come down to an iphone or an android phone. Both look good, both do pretty much the same thing. However it doesn’t matter which one you’re looking at you’re still thinking of the other one. Which is the best deal? That one has a better camera? Which has the better sound? Right up until you make a decision. Then for a while afterwards you look at the phone you chose wishing you’d chosen the other one. What if others have better phones? The other one had a better processor. What if I get laughed at?

    This is not so much a desire to make the right choice but fear of making the wrong one. That fear can lead to what’s sometimes known as paralysis through analysis. Over thinking and catastrophising until the decision is made impulsively rather than measured or informed. Then comes feelings of regret.

    It can also come from the fear of how others see us if we’re at fault, or being seen to be wrong, or have failed at something that was important to us. If our self esteem and self confidence are low we may experience this. If people tell me I’m bad, mistaken, wrong, could’ve done better, then I am a bad person, a failure, I’ll never learn.

    Truth is we all make mistakes, pretty much every day. They aren’t all disasters. If we don’t make mistakes how can we learn? How can we develop resilience to things like disappointment? We need to remember when we do succeed and get it right, based on what we learned from previous errors.

    Maybe just give yourself permission to not know how to do everything brilliantly.

    Counselling can help address this fear. It can help us explore why what we think others think of us is important. It can help us own our mistakes as well as our successes and learn from them.

    This article was written by sentientcounselling

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