How can I come to terms with making mistakes?
November 27, 2007 6:47 AM Subscribe
How can I cope when I make mistakes? I'm starting to feel I'm failing in my career, and am very isolated. Warning - long.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (23 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
In a way I know this is irrational. I work as a freelancer, on my own, in a field which demands a high level of accuracy. I get all my work via the internet and have rarely met my clients. In the past couple of weeks, for no good reason, I have messed up jobs for two clients, making mistakes I wouldn't usually make. Both clients have said 'that's not like you' when pointing out my bad job, and both had the means available to put my work right so no harm was ultimately done. I don't know whether they are going to continue sending me work. One is a big client, the other represents a small proportion of my workload.
But I cannot stop thinking about these episodes and I feel very anxious. It's a quiet time with work anyway, and I have the feelings rolling around my head that I might be failing, that I should find another field to work in (I am well-qualified for this one but little else) and that I'm going to become dependent on my husband. That's an issue with me anyway as we're very recently married (indeed wedding stress may have played a part in my recent work problems, though I wouldn't want to admit as much to my clients). We're thinking of having children so I would probably have to stop work for a while in any case and become dependent on his income, about which I feel profoundly ambiguous. My income fluctuates - overall I earn about 2/3 of what he does, though I have some exceptionally good months.
I don't have any colleagues I can talk to about this (my freelancer friends are effectively my competition, though I am sure they've made mistakes too) and I feel very alone. I think I behaved well enough when taking criticism from my clients (apologised profusely, thanked them for pointing out where I had slipped) but my brain is just not letting this go.
I'm not sure what I need now - suggestions as to how to gently alter my thinking patterns would be welcome. Also examples of how everyone fucks up sometimes!