You Make Mistakes Because You’re Not Perfect




I will make mistakes. So will you.

Some of us live in dread of making mistakes. This means we’re living in fear.

I once lived in panic of making mistakes, would lather myself into a frenzy if I anticipated or experienced an “error.” (A behaviour linked to ‘perfectionism,’ a sign of self-loathing.)

But a funny thing happens when you worry about mistakes.

The futility of perfectionistic behaviour almost guarantees that gaffes will still occur. This increases anxiety – because despite frantic efforts to the contrary, a preoccupation with avoiding mistakes can actually cause them.

Yes, honest mistakes are embarrassing.

My Terror About Mistakes

I recently posted a piece dear to my heart. I wanted it to be spot on. I fortified it with quotable treasures from another writer. I read it over for accuracy, syntax, spelling, grammar, what, about 100 times.

Seconds before publication, I was notified by said writer that I had inadvertently misspelled his name in the blog, not once, but twice.

Holy Horrors from Hell.

He was not gracious about it. At all.

I also learned – later – that said post contained inadvertent grammatical errors.

Seize my pounding heart.

Despite laborious proofreading on my part, despite my drive for perfectionism (now in recovery) mistakes appeared.

I do not have a team of professionals working for me who (try to) guarantee perfect blog operation on every level. I am a young blog, please allow me some time to grow up. Besides, hiring a blog team is no cure-all. I regularly see bloopers published in the most reputable written works, even the best ones.


The Truth About Mistakes

We’re all human, we’re all vulnerable at times, and technology is far from flawless.

I love this reminder.

I love anyone who reminds me that I am human, too.

So thank you, blogger supreme Allie LeFevere, who I quote in this post, here.

After said post was published, she alerted me to a spelling error. When I expressed my distress over the typo, she cheerfully replied: “Don’t worry about it…we all make mistakes!”

We Do?  Allie, you’re successful, you’re real, and you’re kind.

Thank you, Jeff Goins, hugely popular blogger, who recently published an article that contained a few errors. Jeff hastily apologized to his readers when he learned of his mistakes. In the process, he reminded us that he is authentic, honest, and, human, too.

Thank you to my friend, Deb, for the “Shit Happens” button she gave me awhile back. Powerful. One look at that metal circle and I’m transported into a rational mindset, knowing that life is mired in foibles, that ‘perfection’ is the exception.

Shit Will Continue To Happen. No matter what we do, or how hard we try.

We might as well breathe with the shortcomings of life, rather than hyperventilate against them. Being gentle about oversights is good for the soul.

The Solution

  • Rather than anxiously obsessing about mistakes, learn to calmly address them, and, perhaps, prevent them.
  • Rather than judge others harshly for their errors, be more tolerant of imperfect people.
  • Rather than viewing perfectionism as a goal, a mission, a character trait to be admired, see it for what it is, a form of masochism. Love yourself more.
  • Come to understand that people who frown on mistakes, or, think they’re immune from them, are on a high horse they can’t possibly sustain. No one is perfect.
  • Assess why, how and when you make mistakes. Is it when you’re overly tired? Or in the morning? Before coffee? After dessert? Maybe you should get more sleep?

Things go awry in this life. Life is not a straight road.

How we react to life is a measure of our self-esteem, mental health, self-compassion – and our compassion for others.



This entry was posted on Friday, January 24th, 2014 at 2:06 pm and is filed under Posts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.



While I don't publish all comments, I welcome and appreciate your feedback and participation. If you'd prefer to keep your comment 'private,' please use my contact form (located on my website menu) and indicate this. I will happily respond to all comments and questions.

  1. January 26th, 2014 | M. McNab says:

    Undeniably believe that which you said. I certainly get annoyed when people worry about things they don’t need to obsess about. You managed to hit the nail on the head.

  2. January 26th, 2014 | D. Acker says:

    There’s certainly a great deal to learn about this issue. I love all the points you have made.

  3. January 26th, 2014 | A. Leshko says:

    Helpful info.

  4. January 26th, 2014 | A. Bascus says:

    What information. Not ambiguous, and provides valuable insight into unexpected emotions.

  5. January 27th, 2014 | B. Zielesch says:

    I’m amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both equally educational and entertaining, and, without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head on this one.

  6. January 27th, 2014 | C.Hoevel says:

    I’ve been reading your blogs for some time now….just wanted to say keep up the great job.

  7. January 27th, 2014 | U. Ecker says:

    Your style is very unique compared to other writers!

  8. January 27th, 2014 | G. Dusa says:

    I’d like to follow everything new you have to post. Would you list of the complete urls of all your shared sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

  9. January 28th, 2014 | abby says:

    Thank you, links to facebook and twitter can all be found on the right side of my page. For linkedin, I have to accept you as a contact beforehand. 🙂

  10. January 27th, 2014 | L. Kuta says:

    Great post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to mention that I have truly loved browsing your posts.

  11. January 27th, 2014 | H. Hennig says:

    My spouse and I stumbled over here coming from a different web page…I like what I see ! Now I am following you!

  12. January 27th, 2014 | N. Favaro says:

    Terrific website! Does running a blog similar to this take a massive amount work? I have virtually no expertise in computer programming but I had been hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyway, if you have any recommendations or techniques for new blog owners please share.

  13. January 28th, 2014 | abby says:

    Running a blog does take a massive amount of work, dedication and commitment, yes. But if you are in it for the right reasons, and you have the drive and commitment, it is certainly worth the effort. For a wee sense of how much work is involved in creating and maintaining a blog, you are welcome read my previous blog on this exact topic:

  14. January 27th, 2014 | C. Roehr says:

    I love reading a post that will make people think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!

  15. January 27th, 2014 | G. Divin says:

    I’m delighted I found this site.

  16. February 2nd, 2014 | Wendy Kay says:

    I love the way you’re so lighthearted and humbled by your humanness. You have this great ability to laugh at yourself which makes me laugh at myself too.

    Thank you!

  17. February 12th, 2014 | abby says:

    Thanks so much, Wendy. Self-deprecation seems to be a seriously helpful way to reduce stress!

  18. January 4th, 2015 | Veta says:

    A great read. Makes me feel better. I will certainly be back.

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While I don't publish all comments, I welcome and appreciate your feedback and participation. If you'd prefer to keep your comment 'private,' please use my contact form (located on my website menu) and indicate this. I will happily respond to all comments and questions.

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