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Periaktoi Writing Post

Volume 55
Issue 1

Single Visual Art Post

  • Essay
Failure... My Biggest Fear
Kaylee Snyder
Imagine you are in the last class of the day, and there is a test. The test is in history, and you barely have an A in the class, so you have to do well or else your grade will become a B.

This situation constantly happens in my life. Would you be nervous? I know I would be because I have Atychiphobia, the fear of failure. Even though I rarely fail, I always think the worst. I try to prepare myself in the best way possible, but sometimes I just do not trust what I study. I usually only get extremely nervous before tests and quizzes, not before a game in softball, basketball, or volleyball; however, I still get a little nervous before big games, but I never get as stressed during sports events as I do when taking assessments.
For example, one Friday afternoon, I had a history test. My class was the last class to take it, and I had heard that it was incredibly hard, so hard that studying wouldn’t help. I was extremely nervous, and I felt so much pressure to do well. My friends that told me how hard it was were right because once I got the test, I knew that I would not do well. I studied so hard for it, yet it seemed I knew nothing. I was very upset because I felt like I failed. About a week passed and I finally got my grade back. I made an 85, which made me happy. When my teacher handed the tests back she told us that we had just taken an AP test and there was a major curve on our grade. Even though I was nervous, I still did well.
I put a lot of pressure on myself to do well, which is part of why I have Atychiphobia. Sometimes I experience symptoms like shaking sensations in my hands, sweating, and an unusually fast heart rate (Marcin). I always try to make Quizlets and study a lot before the big tests and quizzes so that I will do well, but I still end up getting nervous. In the classes that I can always retake things in, like math and Spanish, I never am nervous; however, it’s always the classes that I barely have an A or a high B in that I get nervous because I know that if I do not do well in them, then my grade will drop.
Cheney Meaghan suggests that I am not the only one struggling with Atychiphobia. In fact we share the same mindset when she says, “The funny (not really funny) thing is - there’s no reason for me to believe that I will fail.” Her words express my mindset after I have taken the assessment. Her story is very relatable because she always gets nervous before tests and quizzes. However, she struggles more because she tells herself that she will fail. I don’t ever tell myself that because I know I won’t actually fail if I prepare myself. She, like me, usually scores a B or an A, so we really shouldn’t worry. My favorite feeling is right after I turn in my assessment or when I get my grade back because I prove myself wrong. Even after continuously proving
myself wrong, I still end up extremely nervous before a quiz or test.

I think it is very weird that I only get worked up about assessments and not sports. Even during huge games, I am not really nervous. When I was seven or eight I was always nervous, but now I am not even fazed. I think this is because I believe in myself and I know that I will do well. If I can believe in myself during games, I should be able to believe in myself taking assessments. Once I can have more confidence in myself, my fear of Atychiphobia should be cured.

In order to overcome Atychiphobia, I think when I am taking the assessment, I need to have positive self talk. Positive self talk may help because usually when I take assessments, I think negative thoughts. If I think positively I will be foreshadowing what I know that I can do. I also need to realize that if I make a bad grade, it is not the end of the world.