Atelophobia – The Fear of Not Being Perfect – Realtime Court Reporters


I believe at some level many court reporters around the United States suffer from atelophobia.    One could say that a person that is attracted to becoming a court reporter gets some joy or satisfaction out of striving for perfection.  Being fast and accurate are the two ingredients that are essential for the profession.

Our industry is changing and realtime has become a new important ingredient to being a court reporter.  Speed and accuracy are still essential, and now we have an opportunity to leverage our skills for our future.  I know amazing writers that have their CRR and won’t hook up.  Why?  The stress and fear of anyone knowing they are not perfect.  Having atelophobia is holding them back, and I am afraid this sickness is an epidemic throughout the country.

According to Wikipedia, examples of atelophobia include a fear of talking on the phone, going for a job interview, public speaking, and writing because of the feeling of not being good enough or meeting other people’s standards.

Symptoms include:  dry mouth, feeling dizzy, muscle tension, hyperventilation, trembling, rapid heartbeat, feeling a loss of control, and an intense feeling of impending disaster.

I am attending the NCRA convention this weekend in Philadelphia, and the question I hear at every seminar and while chatting with firm owners from across the country is, how do we get our great, loyal, wonderful court reporters to get over their fear to write realtime?  They have the talent, but lack the confidence.

There is no easy answer.   In doing research on the internet on how to deal with atelophobia, it is suggested that a person use traditional talk therapy, find a support group, hypnotherapy, and/or relaxation techniques such as deep breathing.

The firm owners I have been chatting with are implementing realtime seminars at their offices, providing court reporters subscriptions to practice a minimum of 15 minutes a week online with the Stenograph, MagnumSteno, or Realtime Coach systems.  Court reporting managers around the USA are brainstorming on how to support court reporters to become all they can be.

Let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions.  It is time for atelophobia to be wiped out for court reporters everywhere, from San Diego to Washington DC and beyond.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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