Tuesday, September 30, 2008

(Still) Learning from My Mistakes

I hate making mistakes. And I hate being rushed. Perhaps I dislike these two things so much because I feel they go hand in hand. When I’m rushed, I make mistakes. When I make a mistake, I rush to fix it. This is a frustrating way to be. It’s directly tied to my obsession with perfection. My house has to be perfect at all times (I’ve been known to kick hubby out of bed and onto the couch if he wants to sleep late because I need to make the bed before I leave the house). My clothes have to match, my desk has to be neat, I have to be in perfect control at all times. This constant striving for perfection is exhausting and in no way helpful to me. It has me in a constant state of panic that I could make a mistake. And mistakes aren’t perfect. So therefore (and here I’m using those mathematical logic skills) if I make a mistake, I’m not perfect. Gasp!

Most people with anxiety are perfectionists. They are afraid of making mistakes, being (or seeming) out of control and failing. But when you really think about it, how can you live a life free from these things? There are always going to be times when I can’t be in control and it can be as simple as having a friend pick me up when we go out for coffee. I no longer have control. I’ve overcome my fear of failure because I’ve practiced the mantra “the only failure is not trying” until my mind accepted this as a truth, but many other people in the throes of anxiety have not. And mistakes…oh mistakes… how you stress people out! But think of all the things you have learned thru making mistakes. And your concern about mistakes means you care. If you didn’t care about things, you wouldn’t care if you messed up. Mistakes are just that… little accidents that are a necessary evil (and I don’t even really like to use the word evil, but you get the point!). Try to take the pressure off of yourself for a little while and let yourself learn from the experience. I know I still have a lot to work on in terms of my views on perfection… but just acknowledging that I have work to do is the first (and most important!) step.

No comments:

Post a Comment