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Nikephobia - Fear of success

How many times has it happened to you to have almost reached the victory when suddenly something irrational, incomprehensible occurs and what seemed at hand vanishes into thin air?
It’s difficult to believe that some people are afraid of winning, but instead it’s something that manifests itself frequently both in individual and team sports. The situation described below could be called nikephobia, that means the fear of success; the word has Greek origins and it is composed of nike, that is victory,  and phobos, that means fear.
 
It is a very common phobia in the sports area that can also concern other contexts such as school or work. The fear of winning comes from the sense given by the  person to his sporting practice; in fact such meanings determine the acted behaviors as a result of conflicting values.
 
The fear of winning is often in relation with the importance that a person gives to his sport activity determining in the individual experiences, behaviors and conflicts. 
 
It determines self-aggression in terms of self-aggressiveness as such symbolic event represents the killing of themselves as athletes. The new athlete is called to try out new contexts that involve exposure to the public, opponents, and media, and could destabilize the athlete, who has to play a new role with the risk of losing his world in terms of habits.
 
Of course, achieving important winnings or new personal records is an increase in your personal loan threshold that involves the athlete's demand for repeating such exceptional performances. Sometimes the fear of winning makes its appearance in athletes who have not achieved particularly significant results, although they have potential, they struggle to reach their goals.
 
Behind these phenomena lie psychological constructs that tend to consider the success as unearned, or as the accomplishment of desires that conflict with the subject's values by determining cognitive dissonances. 
 
These difficulties arise in the failure of the result, despite the good quality of the training, or in excessive anxiety before the performance, or also in the event of trivial accidents or injuries that have repercussions on the final result. 
The athlete who suffers from this difficulty often believes he does not have the right skills to achieve success or he feels not to be up to the expectations of figures such as the coach, parents, companions, and fans. 
 
This symptom is transversal, which means that it can affect high-level athletes, amateur athletes or young athletes. Clearly the consequences are very oppressive and they develop a decrease of self-esteem and self-efficacy, in the appearance of an apathy that in the long run can lead to dropping out of the discipline. 
 
Recent studies estimate that a percentage of approximately 25% of the athletes experience this problem. So one out of four athletes is subjected to this psychological state during his competitive practice. It is a fact which has to make the sport operators reflect about the opportunity to pay more attention to these aspects.
In such cases a sport psychologist can help athletes and coaches managing these difficulties.
 
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