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Kakorrhaphiophobia Fear of failure or defeat

Kakorrhaphiophobia Fear of failure or defeat

We live in a world that is highly competitive world. Indeed our very existence is based on our ability to overcome challenge to become the dominant force on the earth. From a very early age we are taught that winners are best and we must avoid loss at all costs. Most people develop a balanced position, recognising that one wants to win but failure is not something that can always be avoided, and indeed is sometimes necessary to learn and grow. Kakorrhaphiophobia is a pathological, intense fear of failure or defeat. People coping with this phobia may need to succeed and thrive in all aspects of their lives, as well as showing themselves to be better than other people to validate their success.. A kakorrhaphiophobic often aggressively compete with peers, household members, co-workers and will obsessively search acknowledgement of their achievements. The principle thought in their mind is to win and win always.

Kakorrhaphiophobia comes from the Greek word -kakos-, meaning bad and -phobos- meaning fear.

The treatment of this condition is a challenge in that the therapist does not want to necessarily eliminate the desire for victory in the sufferer, but rather to help them to find a balance as well as being able to find ways for the client to validate themselves that does not involve having to win.


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