How do you deal with making mistakes?
August 19, 2010 7:48 AM Subscribe
When you make a real mistake, how do you deal with it? How do you deal with yourself and keep from feeling super guilty?
posted by inatizzy to Human Relations (16 answers total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
When I make mistakes - like, I forget to do something at work and it negatively impacts a project - I quickly get absorbed by a panic attack. I didn't really realize that that's what it was until yesterday - but for many years, when I make a mistake that's not minor, or not at least, that's not easily reversible, I get overwhelmed by guilt and stress and fear.
The level of my reaction is totally disproportionate to the situation. A lot of times the "mistake" is not even something I did really badly or negligently, but I treat it as if it were. Usually it's just because I forgot something, or because a decision that I made with good intentions turned out not to be the right one. I am a dedicated worker, with good intentions, and I think other people see this in me, but when a mistake happens I freak out and I can't keep things in perspective. I feel like I'm the scum of the earth, the biggest idiot, that I just destroyed everything everyone in my company has worked for with my one stupid move, and I get angry at myself for being so stupid. The only thing I can focus on is how to get out of the situation - it's like fight or flight - and in the moment I can't seem to calm myself down and see things in perspective. (Like I'm able to do pretty easily when I'm calmer.)
For what it's worth -- when anyone else makes a mistake, even a big one, I'm usually pretty understanding and able to see the big picture. It's just when it involves MY error that I flip out on myself.
I'm glad to be recognizing this in myself -- because I think it is holding me back from taking on more responsibility -- but I don't really know how to deal with it, especially in the moment. I realize I've been living my life in an effort to avoid these panic attacks, but I would rather learn how to cope with them so that I am more willing to take risks and take on the responsibilities I'd like to assume in order to move ahead in my career.
Anyone else familiar with this? Any ideas about how to deal and chill myself out? Thanks in advance. :)