Today…ask yourself this one question. If we are always learning from our mistakes, then why are we so afraid to make a mistake? Why do we stress ourselves out trying to do everything the ‘right way’? What’s our obsession with being perfect?
Back when I was fresh out of college (2007) and I was on the job hunt, I went on tons of interviews. All sorts of interviews, all over the place and I would always get super nervous. One day, on my way to my umpteenth interview, my love for ‘figuring out why’ I was feeling that way overtook me and I tried to find the rational reason behind it. The reason? It didn’t end up being rational at all! I was scared I was going to mess up. But what exactly could I “mess up” at an interview, I thought? My name? My experience? My education? None of this made any sense – why was I so nervous, so anxious, so scared of doing something wrong. And honestly, what was the worst thing that could happen if I did make a mistake – stutter my words, forget to shake a hand, trip walking into their office? I couldn’t figure it out.
So I reached this conclusion and started reminding myself before each and every interview from then on out that it was ONLY 20 minutes of my life. Once those 20 minutes were over, my life goes back to normal. These people meet candidates every day – I’m sure some are a lot worse or perhaps even a lot weirder than me. If I make a mistake…so what? I don’t know them – I just met them – if I’m meant to have this job, I will. These people are just human beings like myself. The interview wasn’t the end-all and be-all of my life. It was either going to work out, or not. It was THAT simple, yes! I had no reason to FEAR messing up. I had no reason to worry about doing something wrong. NONE!
I started applying this method to anything that made me nervous in life. Anything at all. Meeting new people, traveling somewhere you’ve never been, etc. I used to even get nervous asking for help – with anything as simple or as complicated as you could come up with. But once I applied this method of basic thinking – it’s not the end of the world, other people have done this before, it’s only a few minutes of your life – I stopped worrying about doing something wrong. When you can stop worrying then you can start living! You can start enjoying living. You see, when we’re so worried about making a mistake, we paralyze ourselves into thinking we can’t do it and then eventually, we can’t do anything. We become our own worst enemies. We talk ourselves OUT of everything. We stop ourselves before we even get started.
So ask yourself, why are you so afraid? If you are, start telling yourself that it’s not the end of the world if you do something/say something wrong or make a mistake. It’s more important to try and just get out there and do it, rather than “think” about doing it or worse – “talk” about doing it. As they say…what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger!