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Fear of mistakes? You better fear perfectionism

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Not being perfect doesn’t hurt

Often people have a fear of mistakes. But you should really fear perfectionism.
Perfectionism is hurting and paralyzing you, you just don’t realize it most of the time.

Let’s be honest. Who doesn’t want to do everything perfectly straight away? To smash it right off the bat?

Don’t get stuck in perfectionism. It’s actually linked to the fear of not being good enough, just as the fear of mistakes.

Fear of mistakes: Don't beat yourself up over nothing - be more confident

If you are waiting to do something until you’re great at it, chances are, you’ll never do it. It’s okay to suck at first…

Would it be awesome if the Learning Ninja blog becomes a huge success right away? Of course.

But chances are, it will take time and some serious trial and error to get it right. You can only learn so much in theory.

At some point, you have to start doing.

If you don’t look back at yourself and think, “Wow how stupid I was a year ago” then you must not have learned much in the last year!

Ray Dalio

What a great quote. Everyone needs practice.
It’s what makes us better. You can’t improve when you’re not even trying.

Sadly, our fear of mistakes limits us before we even start.

When you think about all there is to do to get it “just right”, you pretty much abandon the idea immediately.

Not consciously, of course. You simply postpone it until, let’s see, never.

Last week, I found a drawing my daughter Zoe made when she was 3.
It’s an auto-portrait and it’s hilarious!

Terrible drawing by 3-year-old

She doesn’t mind me sharing this, by the way. I am lucky and proud because she is a confident young lady.

Zoe is 16 now, and no longer looks anything like her drawing – her hair is much longer now…

Joke aside, I understand that no one wants to go back to their humble beginnings one day and find something embarrassing like this. Me neither.

Overcome your fear of mistakes

Imagine for a minute what it would feel like to focus on the positive.

If you are brave enough to be bad at something new, it opens new doors and you will improve immensely over time.

When you come back to your early work, thinking the quality resembles Zoe’s drawing, it means that you’ve come a long way.

If you’re shocked at how terrible it is, it’s a sign that you know better now.
And that’s awesome.

So don’t get stuck in perfectionism. Don’t let your fear of mistakes hold you back.
It takes courage but it’s so worth it.

Practice, practice, practice so that one day, you can look back at your beginnings and say “Wow, that was pretty bad! I got so much better at this…”

Maya Angelou has the perfect quote to overcome the fear of mistakes to conclude this blog post.

Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better – Maya Angelou

Fear of mistakes Maya Angelou quote


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