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Making Mistakes

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
So, it wasn't exactly a mistake. It just wasn't a completely thought-out thing. I am a proofreader, and there is another I work with who is a senior proofreader--I am a contractor and she actually works for the company.

I pointed out something I thought was wrong in a meeting (and nobody corrected me, which says something, I guess), but then I looked at it more closely, and the problem was actually something else that I didn't even notice. The initial thing then, may or may not be incorrect, depending on that second thing I found.

Anyway, it is not a big deal, and it was good that I discovered the second problem after the fact, but this whole thing created sooo much upset and anxiety. I ended up taking a short break and filling the bird feeder in the cold. It helped some. Then, someone who was in the meeting messaged me and said it was GOOD that I had found the issues. That helped more.

But...this is an ongoing thing at work and always has been (and, I guess, other places, but mostly with things that I am required to do and someone else will be looking at)--it's like I CAN'T make a mistake and if I do, I am a horrible person. I mean sometimes, it leaves me just wanting to die. Can't show myself to anyone, need to hide.

Just needed to put this out there, but if anyone can relate or has ideas for changing this sort of mindset, I'm all ears.
 
yeah, i have been there. and then thinking i will lose my job, and my home, and and and.

However, reminding myself that there are so many people who make really big mistakes and not only do they keep their jobs, but they get promoted, helped me realise that it's actually really hard to fire people.

And slowly, realising that it's ok to not be perfect. to be kind to myself. show compassion and understanding.

Can you give the reassuring messages that you give others to yourself?
why would it only be you that has to be perfect and everyone else is allowed to be human?
 
it's like I CAN'T make a mistake and if I do, I am a horrible person. I mean sometimes, it leaves me just wanting to die. Can't show myself to anyone, need to hide.
Staff Q - Would you like this thread moved to Cognitive Distortions & Core Beliefs to go after ^^^this^^^ root of the problem, or kept here to focus on dealing with the effects of the problem on your professional life?

Either cause or effect, is totally fine. It’s your thread. Just want to make sure it’s in the best place.

Thanks!
 
Yeah, I get that.
Although my line of work has a lot less protection, so a sizeable mistake will get you fired. It could loose someone a lifetimes work, it could loose huge sums of money, at its worst, is paralysis / death.

A mistake is just that. If you weren’t intending to make it, if it wasn’t made through any fault of yours, it’s just one of those things. No one is perfect at everything all the time, I just try to be the best I can be. The best thing to do when a mistake has been made is to square up, own it, and make a plan of how to fix it & how to not make it again. Watch the best in the world at anything and see how many times they get it wrong on the way to perfection. Over and over and over and over again. Nobody comes out being perfect all the time.

I have a lot of respect for people who can hold up their hands and own their mistakes - we all make them. It’s when people try to duck and dive and oh well and try to blame someone else.

Can you make it less about a potential mistake (which happens to *everyone*) and more about how the way you go about remedying it, and how that doesn’t qualify you as the horrible person?
 
then thinking i will lose my job, and my home, and and and.
Yes!
However, reminding myself that there are so many people who make really big mistakes and not only do they keep their jobs, but they get promoted, helped me realise that it's actually really hard to fire people.
I guess what makes this hard for me is that I've seen management lie, cheat, and manipulate to get rid of people they don't like or who are making lots of mistakes. Doesn't always mean they'll be fired; sometimes they are just driven out. There ARE lots of people who are just stupid and get promoted to crazy important positions, but when that happens, I just think they are somehow "better" than I am.
realising that it's ok to not be perfect. to be kind to myself. show compassion and understanding.
I try. I tend to react immediately (and sometimes even in anticipation of whatever it is), feel awful for awhile, then end up blocking the incident, so I don't think about it. Now, I'm better from today's thing; it's almost like it never happened. Not sure if that is acceptance or if it is a kind of avoidance.
Can you give the reassuring messages that you give others to yourself?
It's hard. I always feel "less than."
why would it only be you that has to be perfect and everyone else is allowed to be human?
Not a question I can answer.
The best thing to do when a mistake has been made is to square up, own it, and make a plan of how to fix it & how to not make it again.
I totally do this most of the time. Things always come back to you when you don't own up to them.
Can you make it less about a potential mistake (which happens to *everyone*) and more about how the way you go about remedying it, and how that doesn’t qualify you as the horrible person?
Hm...I have to think about this. Thanks!
 
I try. I tend to react immediately (and sometimes even in anticipation of whatever it is), feel awful for awhile, then end up blocking the incident, so I don't think about it. Now, I'm better from today's thing; it's almost like it never happened. Not sure if that is acceptance or if it is a kind of avoidance.
Oh jeez, me too! Avoidance and denial are my life long go to's! But I think that is avoidance. As it's punishing yourself really. acceptance would be something that doesn't make you feel back and block out?
It's hard. I always feel "less than
So this would be a cognitive distortion. As you are not less than. Despite feeling it and finding ways to confirm the feelings and thoughts as fact.
What's worked with other cognitive distortions?
Not a question I can answer.
Is it something that would help to?
 
I've heard perfectionism and fear of criticism comes from being harshly and/or often reprimanded as a child. Does that resonate at all with you @whiteraven ?
Well, yeah. I mean, excellence was expected. I remember in elementary school my dad would re-grade everything when I got home because he said the teachers just automatically gave me As (they apparently assumed I would do A work, but he knew better). There was a lot of that kind of thing in elementary school. And he gave me additional work on top of what I had at school.

But it wasn't just when I was little. I've had two jobs where I've been in lower management positions, and I was NEVER good enough. I did a really excellent job, but there was always something. Like at the first one, the director would constantly harp on my clothing. I wore a pretty black dress once, and she said it was "nice" but too plain, and I should have invested in a colorful scarf. And even the good job I did at the second one was overlooked for other dumb stuff. I was terrified I'd make a mistake.

I think maybe part of the reason it got as bad as it did is because everybody in a position of authority put me down, even when I didn't deserve it. And people just assumed I'd do a good job and would make a huge deal if I didn't (like I would make an A and get asked why it wasn't an A+). In my job now, people are seriously nice and allow for mistakes. Weird.
 
I have 2 (4-5, but I’m just going to talk abou 2 right now) basic jobs.

1, if I make a mistake? People die.
1, where if I make a mistake people ACT like someone’s gonna die. Pfft.

They’re almost the exact opposite of each other, because in the actual life or death job? People are calm, cool, collected… but in the other? OMFG, it’s a f*cking fire drill. <roll eyes>

As long as I’m actually doing both jobs? It’s cake to not get swept up in the nonsense, and a pretty great stress release valve. Because it’s high octane, but no consequences. No real ones, anyway.

But when I’m only doing one or the other? My balance takes a massive hit, and in the case of my second job, I start believing bullshit, like my it actually matters. It doesn’t. Alt all. It is the definition of frivolous & unnecessary. With knives. And fire. It’s fun. Until I start attaching meaning to it that it. does. not. rate. And from there? Start attaching meaning onto myself. :P

I CAN'T make a mistake and if I do, I am a horrible person. I mean sometimes, it leaves me just wanting to die.
This is waaaaaaay over the top. Which it sounds like you know? But are unclear on the origins?
 
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