04/02/2013

Fear of Mistakes*

Posted in Encouragement, Family, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , at 11:50 am by The Water Bearer

I have another confession to make…

Deep down I’m petrified!

anxiety

Of getting it WRONG!

Am I alone in this fear?  … I doubt it.

This has been a fear all of my life, although I am only just recently beginning to accept and understand it on a new level. I can get quite defensive if I am accused of doing something wrong, especially when I know I tried my best and someone else assumes I didn’t. I take it as a personal attack, an accusation that I didn’t care enough to try.

This is not to say that I won’t admit when I am wrong, if I see my error first I will be the first to announce it, in fact I run to apologise and correct my err. If I have ever consciously chosen to do the wrong thing I expect to feel remorse and will take my punishment on the chin.

My fear is more that I will be deemed unworthy because of my short-comings, shamed to the point of rejection, rejected to the point of depression. It is those times that come unexpected, those left field errors, the times you thought you got it right and it turns out you got it WRONG! When you realise you have been deceived, by yourself, or by your inner enemies. Times like these I feel the colour drain from my face, my stomach does a flip and heat rises up my neck like a flame, covering my face in beads of sweat. My mind becomes a chaos of thoughts of shame and self-condemnation, justifications and desperation. In some cases tears well in my eyes.

As I mentioned in my last post, somewhere along the road of life I have subconsciously attached being ‘Right’ with being ‘Happy’, and therefore if I am wrong I am doomed to be ashamed and unhappy. Yet most of us understand we must make mistakes in order to learn. I love to learn so I should love making mistakes. Right? Wrong again!

As I’ve gotten older I have made many efforts to tackle this fear, after my car accident I suffered tremendous attacks of anxiety which made my ability to concentrate extremely difficult, if not impossible. I spent 3 years after my car accident, off work and in therapy, trying to recover both physically and mentally. I felt useless, I couldn’t imagine how I could be of any use to an employer or to my family. I needed quite a bit of rehabilitation to help me feel capable of working again, anxiety had me in it’s tight grip and I was sure my constant lack of concentration and focus would cause me to be punished and looked down on, viewed as worthless and perhaps even fired. I couldn’t bare the thought of letting people down, especially not an employer or a loved one.

mistakes

Therapy and working since then has helped me accept that we all make mistakes, human errors are unavoidable, I needed to learn to give myself a break.

My first job after the accident was with my best friend, she was extremely understanding and supportive. The boss of our department did me the world of good, He never punished his staff for making mistakes, he never made us feel like we had let him down if we didn’t reach perfection, in fact the opposite. He made fun of us in a joking, sarcastic manner, like a friend would, and always took our side against cranky customers. He made us feel we were good enough, even if we had done nothing but make mistakes all day. Lets face it, we have all had days like that..Haven’t we?

My recent breakthrough in therapy, made me aware that I allow this fear to infiltrate my parenting techniques, and I have been making every attempt to undo some of the damage this may have had on my children. It is not easy, I am still afraid, I wonder if I will ever be able to let these attacks slide off my back like water off a duck. (There are some great tips in this post how to prevent a cycle of this fear passing onto our children, also Brené Brown has done some amazing research in this area.)

I thank God so much for the realisation of this deep fear, because it is only when we accept something that we can begin to change it, we can place our fears in His capable hands. Our children deserve to feel good enough even when they make mistakes. We deserve to feel good enough even when we are wrong. Yeshua/Jesus would not have needed to come and suffer such a horrendous ordeal if we were capable of being perfect on our own. Our true happiness doesn’t come from getting it right all the time, it comes from knowing we are always worthy to Him, that He will never reject us, and that we will always be loved by Him.

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22 Comments »

  1. OneHotMess said,

    I loved this. I have it too—fear. Here is my post on the topic. I truly am not self promoting, but many found it helpful. Delete it if you wish–I will keep reading your blog. 😉 http://onehotmessage.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/fear-the-greatest-motivater-to-stay-absolutely-stuck/

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  2. When we make mistakes and apologise to our children, aren’t we giving them permission to make mistakes or demonstrating that it happens to everyone? How we handle it, how we forgive them for theirs…that’s love and sister, love conquers all.
    xo
    Diana

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    • I appreciate your encouragement dear Diana. I have always apologised to my girls since they were tiny and yet they still show evidence of fearing mistakes. I accept my contributions to this as my fear shone out as anger whenever they made mistakes, as I explained in my previous post. 😦 We are now working together to undo this damage and now that I am aware of my fearful reactions I can see a different future for all of us …Amen! 🙂

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  3. “I felt useless, I couldn’t imagine how I could be of any use to an employer or to my family.” I’m there. You write so honestly and passionately. Fear is my almost constant, creepy companion. I am just now, 12 years out of my abusive marriage, getting serious counseling and help to resolve whatever is tripping me up so badly. Blessings, and thank you! Diane

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    • I appreciate your honesty and your kind compliment. So glad you have sought help as I believe it is so important. Keep at it dear Diane. It took 6 years to finally understand the crux of my issues. I have been gradually making progress all that time just slowly and in a variety of areas. I always knew I was fearful, I always knew I was going wrong somewhere as a parent, I just didn’t understand the specifics of my reactions, and how can you stop something you don’t understand? I have a feeling this is only another step, granted it is a huge step, but still much more work to go before me and my family are free of this poison. Blessings to you and best of luck.. 🙂

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  4. GodGirl said,

    Thanks for your transparency here. What a strong, courageous person you are – getting the help you needed wouldn’t have been easy. I love what you say about Jesus not needing to come if we could achieve perfection on our own. And our sense of worthiness being found in Him.

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    • Hi God Girl, Thanks for dropping by, Always a pleasure to share with you. I am grateful for your kind comment, I don’t feel very strong or courageous, but I am desperate enough to try anything. I see no point in hiding my shame, we cannot erase the demons from our darkest parts without shining a light on them. These enemies have haunted my family line for too long and I for one am sick of it! Blessings to you dear Sister. 🙂

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  5. John Bradshaw also has a great book called, Healing the Shame That Binds You. You may want to check it out. Hang in there. Remember progress not perfection!

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    • Thanks Kristin. I will look out for it. Anything to knock a lifetime of fear on the head. Progress not perfection.. I like that! Blessings to you!

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  6. […] Fear of Mistakes*. […]

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    • Thank you for sharing this post with your readers. I feel many suffer from similar fears, but are not aware of how damaging they are. Perhaps by sharing my truth someone else can overcome their fear too. I sure hope so. Blessings to you!

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  7. Yahobahne said,

    Well no one is the master of what we allow to happen to us mentally, emotionally or even sometimes physically–better than ourselves–at least according to what’s written above. Allow me to provide scriptures.
    A. The bible states that life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). We can speak life into the physical aspects of what may transpire during the course of our day.
    B. We can read and speak out these Psalm 91 verses. . .
    3 Surely he [God] will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
    4 He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
    5 You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
    6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.
    7 A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
    8 You will only observe with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.
    9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
    and you make the Most High your dwelling,
    10 no harm will overtake you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.
    11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways. . .
    We can speak to our guardian and chief angels and command them to protect us during the day.
    C. Believe: “So those who are believers in Christ Jesus can no longer be condemned” (Romans 8:1 <<self-explanatory).
    and . . .
    D. Believe: "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love" (1 John 4:18).

    There's no better solution in heaven, on earth or underneath earth than reading, believing, and practicing "A-D." This being done by faith every day or as much as possible will thwart the enemy of fear. I hope this helps.

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    • Yahobahne I appreciate your wonderful comment so very much! Thank you for going to so much trouble to comment in such detail. Indeed His word is the best weapon, the Sword of the Spirit to use against attacks of fear, so of course it helps. 🙂 Blessings to you!

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  8. […] this way and others, my fear of mistakes has been showing it’s ugly head in more and more ways since my recent breakthrough. I pray […]

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  9. Karen said,

    Hello! My name is Karen and I’m a mother, wife, woman and friend who makes mistakes! It is always refreshing to meet another Wrong Anonymous sister. Christ’s peace.

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  10. Dilip said,

    I loved the post and its message. May I share a link in response to our fear of having made mistake?
    http://dilipnaidu.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/a-mantra-for-letting-go/

    Cheers 🙂

    Like

    • Thank you Dilip for the link I will be sure to check it out. Your comments are always appreciated. Blessings to you!

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  11. […] Once we have begun to let go of the illusion of control and give God chances to show us His power and faithfulness, we can find opportunities to exercise our trust in Him, ranging from the small, seemingly trivial issues, right through to our most immense fears. […]

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