Friday, January 23, 2015

How To Get Over A Mistake

When's the last time you made a mistake?  

Recently, to my dismay, I discovered a typo on the "thank you" pop-up on my mailing list opt-in.  Instead of "Welcome" it read "Wecome."  

Since thousands of people subscribed to the list (including many of you, dear readers) that meant THOUSANDS of people saw the error.

Total mortification.

How could I have missed it?
What would people think?
Yes, I went to that worst place scenario, imagining people would be completely put off and might think less of me.

I confided my concerns to a friend.  She started to laugh.

"I'm so relieved," she said.  "You actually are human."

She went on to tell me that my error, although understandably upsetting, made me seem more accessible and fallible in her eyes, which from her perspective was a good thing.  And she reminded me that all those subscribers still... well, subscribed.

It's easy to lose perspective and feel as if a relatively minor mistake is huge.  In my case, I realized I had highlighted the typo and minimized the overall value I strive to bring to subscribers.

Worrying makes things worse.

Stop obsessing about what happened:  Worrying about a mistake can lead to negative self-talk and an expectation of perfectionism, both of which affect self-esteem.  When you feel bad about yourself, you're more likely to use disordered eating as an escape, for comfort, or as punishment.

Start learning from it:  Figuring out what you can do to prevent another error (double proof-readers for me!) is important.

I often reassure people that it's okay to mess up, screw up, forget or just plain fail.  This experience forced me to put my beliefs into action.

Food for thought:

What does it mean to make a mistake?

What do you feel when you've made an error?

What is your inner judge telling you?

What would you tell a friend in a similar situation?

How bad is it in the overall scheme of things?

The next time you make a mistake (which is part of life and therefore inevitable), keep this in mind:

You made a mistake.  You are not a mistake.

And then give your perfectly-imperfect self a break!

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1 comment:

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