This is a post about a problem I have. I want to learn new skills and try new things, but I’m so afraid of messing up that I feel like quitting before I even begin.
Whenever I make a mistake, every cell in my body cringes. I want to roll into a ball and hide when I think about how I
might possibly will definitely, at some point in the near future, do something foolish. I hate how all my embarrassing moments parade across my mind as I’m falling asleep.
There’s so many fun memories just from when I worked in restaurants. Like the time I tripped on my shoelace and dropped a huge tray of wine glasses smack in the middle of the dinner rush. Or when I sat a party of two at separate tables on opposite ends of the restaurant, and they never met for their important business meeting. Or when I accidentally mixed an entire table’s margaritas with vodka instead of tequila. I could go on…
This post was originally titled “Things I’m looking forward to in 2022”
As I wrote the list, I felt more and more stressed. There’s a lot of room for error when trying new things.
I’m excited to start a new job as a preschool teacher. But am I ready to care for a dozen children at once? How many mistakes will I make? It crossed my mind that I could return to the familiarity of bartending. Although, that also used to be out of my comfort zone. The first night I stood behind the bar my hands were too shaky to pour from the bottles without spilling.
I’m happy because I’ve recently found a group of people who practice Ashtanga yoga together. They are way more advanced than me and when I practice with them I’m in a continuous state of being wrong. There’s nowhere to hide. I dread the physicality of making a mistake. Even though they have kindly welcomed me, I feel hesitant being such a beginner.
Blogging has also highlighted my fear of mistakes. I love writing. I love the wordpress community. Being still pretty new to this, it’s surreal when people read what I write and comment their thoughts. I feel so lucky to be here.
Yet last week I almost convinced myself to quit. I feel like I can’t keep up with my blogger friends. I don’t have as many good topic ideas, I get stuck trying to think of perfect replies to comments, often I read an incredible post and I can’t write a coherent enough response.
I’m so nervous about typing the wrong thing that I would rather not type ANYthing.
But I don’t want to give up. Because the only way to improve at anything, is to do that thing. In other words the only way to make less mistakes is to make more mistakes right now.
The next time I mess up on something new, I want to try reframing it as positive. It’s proof that I’m learning. How else will I do all the things I want to do if I’m frozen in fear of my next blunder, or fixating on all the things I’ve gotten wrong in the past?
So, my main new year’s resolution is to mess up in lots of fresh new ways. If I average five mistakes per day, I might even hit 2,022 mistakes by the end of the year. 😅
Like the legendary Coach John Wooden said: “If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything.”