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Better than Perfect by Elizabeth Lombardo

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CHAPTER 8

F: Fail Forward

“The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake. You can’t learn anything from being perfect.”

—ADAM OSBORNE

ATYCHIPHOBIA IS THE intense fear of failure. Just the prospect of failing causes people with this disorder such dread and anxiety that they feel nauseated or sick. They sweat, experience heart palpitations, have difficulty speaking or thinking clearly, feel as if they’re losing control, and may even have a full-blown panic attack. They try to avoid failing by any means. And yet, they are often aware that their overwhelming fear is not completely rational, since what they’re so afraid of rarely poses any real threat.

While they may not meet all the criteria for the psychiatric diagnosis, most perfectionists ...

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