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Nikephobia: What is the fear of winning?


Nikephobia, better known as the fear of winning, is still a little-known phobia. Let's find out together what it is and how to overcome it.

We talk about nikephobia when we are faced with a real fear at the thought of finishing first or having the upper hand in a competition. The term, distinguished by the Greek words nike (victory) and phobos (phobia), in fact summarizes the concept of phobia at the thought of winning . It is a more widespread problem among sportsmen but which, in reality, can arise in any life situation in which one is faced with a competition. To date still little known, this fear can limit those who suffer from it . This is why it is very important to recognize it and implement all possible actions to get the better of it.

What are the "symptoms" of nikephobia

Nikephobia, (as already mentioned, more common in sports circles) is a real fear of winning. Those who suffer from it, despite having particular sporting skills, are almost never able to reach the levels expected due to a whole series of behaviors aimed at sabotaging their performance.
Although little known, it is a rather widespread syndrome, so much so that according to recent estimates, it is thought that at least 20% of athletes suffer from it. Furthermore, it is recognizable by a whole series of "signals" which can help to understand if and when action is needed.


In fact, those who suffer from it tend to give their best in training and then go badly during the races. Furthermore, a predisposition to self-sabotage by missing the most important sporting events or by not following the rules to arrive fresh and ready for a race is evident.
In some cases, it may happen that an athlete is accidentally injured just before a competition or that he always makes sure that he has an excuse for himself and for others in case of failure.
The result is therefore that of athletes who, although good, never manage to excel, always finishing second or even lower and all despite their efforts.

In fact, nikephobia is mostly unconscious. Which is why self-saboteurs don't always realize it. Indeed, in case of victory, a sense of guilt can even take over given by a sort of imposter syndrome .

The causes of nikephobia

Often, nikephobia arises from a lack of self-esteem for which one always feels inadequate and less capable than one actually is. In these cases, skill, as well as the expectations of others, trigger the fear of making a mistake and disappointing everyone . Situation that leads to always postponing the moment when you really give your best.

In other cases, the fear of always having to maintain a high standard can also lead to this phobia, as well as that of being faced with new responsibilities. Wanting to go back to the real causes, these could therefore be summarized as follows:

– Low self-esteem
– Fear of disappointing others
– Fear of responsibility
– Fear of not being good enough
– Fear of the future
– Fear of failure
– Fear of leaving the known for the unknown

When an athlete is faced with these fears, it is very important that they question themselves about them. Only in this way will he be able to understand what he really fears and start a sort of "healing" from the phobia, finally managing to give his best.

How to overcome nikephobia

When you are faced with a phobia, the first step to take is to understand its origins. To do this, the fastest way is that of psychotherapy . Through a targeted path it is in fact possible to analyze yourself and understand what triggers fear. Once this is done, you can act on it and learn to face it day by day, starting with small goals and then increasing them more and more.

By acting in this way, overcoming the phobia of victory will be easier and will allow you to always give your best both in competitions and in other forms of competitions. The fear of victory, as already mentioned at the beginning, can also arise outside the sports field and in all forms of competitions. From those in school to those at work or in life itself, any race can trigger the behaviors already seen. Behaviors that, if recognized and addressed, can slowly lead to the achievement of the desired goals without fear and without guilt in case of victory.

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