It’s OK to make mistakes

it is OK to make mistakes

Perfectionism, its consequences and overcoming the fear of making mistakes

Perfectionism is like a single ticket for unhappiness according to some who have studied this phenomenon in details. It may seem exaggerated, but perfectionists are at greater risk of developing depression, anxiety, eating disorders, addictions and stress. Difficult to maintain acceptable levels of self-esteem, when life gives us a report card every day, with the worst grades often circled in red by our excessive self-criticism.

As in the case of shyness experienced as a defect, once again we have to go back to childhood to understand what triggered an obsessive search for perfection. Probably that dissatisfaction printed on the face of our parents in front of a 7 rather than the usual 8.

Yes, because often people fall into the trap of perfectionism and are considered invincible, accustomed to getting the best and from which we always expect the best result. Behind perfectionism there is basically the fear of making mistakes and of disappointing the expectations of others. A vicious circle that often leads us to renounce, when we are aware that we cannot reach the top, condemning us to paralysis and immobility.

Anxiety assails us if everything does not go as well as possible and we risk going into crisis for a detail, even when everything else would be more than enough to make us happy. Perfectionism condemns to unhappiness whether it stretches for renunciation, feeling perpetually defeated, or that it works maniacally to make everything perfect, and then suffer in an unspeakable way if something goes wrong.

To overcome the fear of making mistakes and the sense of inadequacy, we must aim for the best possible result, not to perfection. Where with the best possible result means what we can do with our current resources, at that precise moment in our lives and considering all the variables that are independent of our commitment.

Being more understanding with ourselves does not deter us from achieving our goals. Without falling into victimhood or making excuses for our shortcomings, we try to accept our limits and smooth the corners of the sharpest self-criticism, which is certainly not good for self-esteem and undoubtedly hinders personal improvement.

We replace the raised eyebrow that we carry with us from childhood with a shrug when something is going wrong. Let us not condemn ourselves to failure by pursuing perfection. Whether it is following a diet rather than making a career, it will not be an exception to the rule rather than an oversight that completely compromises the final result. Let’s give ourselves a chance to be happily imperfect, learn to smile at a speck of dust and accept the possibility of a second place without drama.

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7 Responses

  1. The link to obsessive compulsive disorder need to be mentioned here, commonly referred to by the acronym OCD, is characterized by the presence of “obsessions” (troubling thoughts, doubts, disturbing and / or frightening images that the person would not like to have but that he cannot dispel from the mind) and “Compulsions” (repetitive behaviors put in place to ward off feared events).

    1. Perfectionism does not only manifest itself in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), but can underlie many of its subtypes — contributing to the need to perform a certain ritual to perfection, or to have things arranged in the right way.

      1. perfectionists feel the need to follow the rules rigidly and think that things should be done in a certain way or not at all.

        1. They must feel that they are always in control. They worry too much about making mistakes — especially if others can see them, those mistakes.

          1. They think that making mistakes has to do with their value as people, and they have an enormous need to please others.

            1. My diagnosis of OCD was mainly determined by my various obsessions about possible contamination and health problems. I knew these were problematic, and it was easier to distinguish these obsessions from what they are – from my “rational” brain and from my thoughts.

              1. Perfectionism is more difficult to distinguish, because it is a trait intertwined with my personality. I am a person attentive to detail, and many times this is useful and works for me. I even like this side of me. When I fight against it, it takes me longer to realize it.

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