Fear of losing out. Fear of exams. Fear of failure. Fear of “what society will say”.
We understand exam anxiety. After all, we all live in the same society where achievements and performances matter more than anything. Parents have high expectations that their child will glorify their names by doing excellent in exams.
But many times, this fear stems from teachers also. Teachers’ performance is measured from the students’ grade. So, they only expect them to do great in exams, but never pay much attention to improving their learning ability and skills in the classroom. It’s because they find it daunting to accept the fact that fear of failure stems from teachers as well.
However, in all these, everyone forgets that every child is different. Everyone has a different psychology and a unique set of abilities. It eventually results in testophobia – the fear of tests and exams.
Atychiphobia – Intensive Fear of Failure in Exams or Tests
Many studies show that fear of failure affects students’ interest and inclination towards education. When such fears take hold of kids at very young age, their motivation to learn suffers. Also, their overall attitude towards education breaks down. As the fear turn intensive, the person starts resisting taking risks in school and personal life.
The state when fear of failure becomes persistent and abnormal, the mental health experts call it Atychiphobia. This type of phobia leads to a devastating lifestyle as sufferer loses his self-confidence, willpower, and interest to try and experience new things in life.
Negative Effects on Students
This type of fear can affect any student at any level of education system f, from nursery schoolers to college students. Here are the common things found among sufferers:
- They fail to understand their true potential in school and life.
- Student’s concentration in education is annihilated.
- At an early stage, exam fear could pressurize people to take on irrelevant goals just to affirm their ego. They forget their true interest in the classroom and don’t focus on their overall personal growth.
- The desire to pass the exam at any cost could make turn a student into a cheater rather than helping him finding the effective strategies for studying and learning.
Major Causes of Fear of Failure
Besides pressure from parents and society, other factors that trigger this type of failure are heavily based on individual’s personal emotions and perceptions. In fear of height, the sufferer says s/he don’t like to exposed to heights because they’re afraid of falling. But since the causes of test anxiety are vague, this is not the case with same.
Researchers say that failure is not that terrifies students suffering from this fear. In fact, they are afraid of consequences of failure. They fear the labels that others may put on him or her, like underachiever, empty-headed, etc.
Factors that trigger these sentiments:
Sadly, the fear starts from the system that is meant to develop students. We all know that a teacher’s performance is measured by students’ grades. A student getting good grades indicate well-performing teachers that result in their incentives.
So, teachers start focusing on their real interests, rather than paying attention to the overall development of pupils. When students fail to meet the standard grades, it negatively affects their perception. What’s good about Pasir Ris Student Care programs is that students are encouraged to achieve their full potential through creative and motivational techniques, not through any form of pressure.
When a student starts feeling guilt or shame whenever he or she doesn’t meet school’s standards, the fear of failure makes room in their heart.
There are many students who afraid of ruining expectations of their parents and teachers. Also, there are schoolmates who mock or jeer at failures that can intensify the whole matter.
In short, if students believe that getting excellent grades and doing well in extra curriculum activities only means for gaining people’s support, then losing this trust due to failure is totally obvious.
This is mainly correlated to college students who are closer to their dream career. While finding a good job acts as a motivator for students, it can also trigger fear of failure.
Overcoming Fear of Failure
Role of Students
- See the true significance of education – Students should know that education is not the way to impress teachers, family, and friends. It’s a mean for self-development and settlement in future life.
- Learn to accept yourself – Accept your strength and weaknesses. You have talent and abilities different from others. Never compare your grades or performance in school.
- Stay motivated – Success in life is all about motivation. Inspire an unmotivated student to work hard and achieve his/her goals. Seek adventure in education, so you’ll be open to failure as a part of your journey to higher learning.
Role Of Parents And Teachers
- Allow the child to fail: Tell your kids that being a failure is okay if they’re working hard. Instead of breaking plates and losing in quiz bee out of frustration, handle them with ease and love. It’s the time when they also need your support and love. Motivate, but don’t understate them.
- Give them autonomy: Don’t be instructive or dictatorial about kid’s performance. This way you will do more bad than good. Instead, guide your child towards academic success. Also, providing your child with an elbow room makes them happier and likely to experiment fulfillment in their work at school and home.
- Discard double-sided view of performance: Instead of believing that there are two sides, success, and failure, of students’ performance, parents and teachers should consider education and growing up years of the child as a series of ups and downs. It takes the time to excel and perform well in everything.
- Adjust Expectations: Parents and educators should learn to adjust their expectations and allow students to execute their self-planned learning strategies. Never put them in a situation that their projects must meet the standards of a Nobel Prize.
Everyone suffers testophobia! But for many students, the result of failure phobia is nothing short of paralyzing. Struggling guilt and shame at an early age can fill them with negativity, which would certainly affect their future life. It’s a responsibility of teacher and parents to instill motivation in students to fight off all negatives in life.
Let’s start working on this exciting journey of beating the fear of failure. If not now, then when?