Fear of Mistakes

If I can’t do it perfectly the first time, I won’t do it at all.  Sounds ridiculous but how often do we approach things with this attitude.  Let me try another version:  If you don’t have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over? ~ John Wooden.


22. Believing in myself believing I can do something anything I want but not trying because I might fail and embarrass myself or it won’t be perfect.

Judy’s point of view: https://theprojectbyjudy.wordpress.com/2017/12/14/self-care-22-of-25/

My sister, Judy,  and I were raised with the expectation of perfection at all times in all places and punished should we achieve it.  Sounds warped?  It was.

At the beginning of counseling my therapist pointed out my fear of making the slightest mistake.  He pointed out how I would tremble and shake and become paralyzed attempting something I couldn’t do perfectly first time.  Why was he so mean pointing this flaw out so early?  He knew that unless I was willing to make mistakes, I could never change.  I would stand absolutely still doing nothing to avoid the pain of making a solitary mistake.  Good grief, it was awful.  I needed to be OK with making mistakes.  To help me over come my fear of mistakes I learned how to do Sudoku puzzles.  I did them in pen.  If I made a mistake I put a big X on the page and turned the page.  I did not allow myself to go back and fix it.  I left it and moved on.  I learned that making a mistake will not kill me.  I had plenty of life experiences that making a mistake was painful, embarrassing, uncomfortable, or down right humiliating with people in my life that would rub my face in every mistake bringing up those early mistakes up over and over again.  My counselor knew I needed to face my fears, all of them, and that meant I was going to make mistakes lots of them.

Here is a simple example of my behavior.  I couldn’t cook when I got married.  My mother taught me a few things and I took the required class in 7th grade with 6 weeks in a kitchen learning to make stuff I didn’t like to eat.  My first year of marriage I decided I would learn to cook.  I was given the Joy of Cooking book.  I read the entire book of everything that wasn’t strictly a recipe.  I learned that some people enjoyed this stuff a lot more than me.  I tried baking a cake from scratch.  I wanted to do it perfectly.  I bought cake flour.  I talked to other people that baked cakes and made my first attempt.  Chocolate flavored fluffy scrambled eggs tastes terrible.  From then on it was Betty Crocker for me.  No more messing around with something I couldn’t do.  That was it.  One time, one mistake, no more attempts.  Fast forward 40 years.  I made another chocolate cake from scratch.  Judy found the recipe.  I trust Judy’s talent for cooking.  I tried the recipe.  Its OK.  I like it well enough that I am willing to share it.  I can do it again if I want to, but I don’t have to, it is not the end of the world if I can’t bake a cake from scratch.  So why bother to try?  Because I can.  Cool.

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something. So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”

—Neil Gaiman, Neil Gaiman’s Journal  https://www.bustle.com/p/15-neil-gaiman-quotes-to-inspire-you-in-2017-27263


Need new quotes like these:

“I’ve failed over and over and over again. And that is why I succeed.” ~ Michael Jordan

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” ~ Albert Einstein

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” ~ Mark Twain

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” ~ William James

“I’d rather attempt to do something great and fail, than to attempt nothing and succeed.” ~ Robert H. Schuller

“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” ~ Ralph Marston

“Success is going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” ~ Winston Churchill

“You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.” ~ Babe Ruth

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” ~ Robert Collier

“The more we do the more we can do.” ~ William Hazlitt

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” ~ Wayne Gretzky

“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” ~ Truman Capote

“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” ~ George Adair

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” ~ Arthur Ashe

“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” ~ Margaret Thatcher

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” ~ George Eliot

“Times will change for the better when you change.” ~ Maxwell Maltz

“There has never been a meaningful life built on easy street.” ~ John Paul Warren


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.