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.
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.
- 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.