Fear of Making Mistakes

All sorts of techniques in CBT can be used to help you overcome mental problems. Yet, before those techniques will work effectively, you must learn why it is essential to not fear making mistakes and instead celebrate them.

Once you understand that it is OK to make mistakes and learn from them only then will you see that it is possible to challenge the fears you face through Exposure Therapy and Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment. Throughout this guide, you will be asked to participate in a few worksheets, which are designed to help you master for example OCD. We will ask you to perform some practices throughout the guide as well.

More importantly, it is good that you realize that your symptoms are temporary and that it is possible to master your symptoms to feel more at ease in life. Please join us in celebrating your mistakes.

Before we start let's do a quick worksheet together.

Write - We ask that you take a few minutes of your time and dwell on some of the mistakes that you made in the past that caused you stress. Review your mistakes when you are finished and step back to see what you learned from making those mistakes.

Eight reasons to celebrate your mistakes

The general population as a whole are haunted by the fear of making mistakes. Most people view mistakes as being held responsible for major breakdown. We fear that mistakes may lead to failure in relationships, jobs, grades and so forth.

To overcome such fear it pays to take on a new attitude to change how you feel about mistakes. Rather than fear your mistakes, celebrate them. We can revel in our redundancies, frolic in our failures, and glory in our goof-ups. We can marvel at our mistakes and laugh aloud if we blow it. A creative environment is developed in failure that is not fatal. A business that strives to become the next cutting-edge of competition, desperately seeks innovative changes. Yet innovation requires risk-taking and along with it is the chance of failing.

This is not idle talk - some real life places celebrate their mistakes including Pizza Hut, Temps and so on.

1. Celebrating helps us to notice our mistakes. Celebrating mistakes gets everything out in the open. Mistakes that are hidden cannot be corrected. When we shine a light on our mistakes and examine them, we can fix the problem. If we do not examine our mistakes, it leaves room for blaming others. It burns our energy, which could be channeled on correcting mistakes.

2. Mistakes offer us valuable feedback. A manger in a company made a mistake that cost the company $100,000. Assured that his boss would fire him, he asked. His boss replied, "Fire you; I can't afford to do that." I just spent $100,000 training you." Mistakes are a part of the learning process. Our mistakes are usually more interesting than our successes and more instructive.

3. Mistakes demonstrate that we are risk-takers. People who play it safe will make fewer mistakes. Making mistakes provide us with proof that we are stretching to the limit of our abilities, risking, growing and learning. Fear of making mistakes can paralyze us. The fear may frighten us into inaction. We may become afraid to do anything for fear of blowing it. Celebrating mistakes thus helps us to move to action and get things done.

4. Celebrating mistakes helps us to see that it is OK to make mistakes. We can use our mistakes to remind us that we are not bad, just human. We are not recommending that you go out and make mistakes deliberately, but realize that mistakes are not the end. When we make mistakes, we can admit it and correct it.

5. Everyone should celebrate mistakes. It reminds us that the Perfect Performance Society Club has no members. All of us make mistakes. When we notice our mistakes, we can work as a team to fix our errors. When we blame others, it hinders us from improving our situation.

6. Mistakes occur only when we aim at a clear goal. If we don't have a target or purpose in sight¸ then there is no concern about missing it. Making mistakes affirms something of great value and shows that we have a plan.

7. Mistakes only occur when one commits himself to make things work. Any system will work when people are ready to be held accountable. When one openly admits his or her mistakes, we build accountability. Imagine you are in a business where everyone comes in late, the financial advisor never gets payment sent out on time and the workers fail to complete their intended tasks. In this environment, there is little room for mistakes, since no-one cares. Mistakes become obvious only once people commit to improve the quality of their business, or life. Thus, mistakes work in conjunction with commitment and quality.

8. When one celebrates mistakes, it makes their problems smaller. Usually when a person makes mistakes, they feel remorse, regret or worry. They may desperately cover up the mistake hoping no-one notices, but for those who own their mistakes they accept accountability and regret, worry and remorse heads out the door. When we put our anxiety about making mistakes behind us, we can get down and dirty to correct our mistakes.

Now that you have a basic idea why celebrating your mistakes turn out good rewards it is time to take a Master Mind Exercise

Write - on a piece of paper, begin creating a mind map of the eight reasons why you should celebrate your mistakes. You may want to use a large piece of paper for this task.

Memory builder - create your mind map without looking back at the content in the eight reasons to celebrate your mistakes. The intention is to help you see how much information you have retained. You may find that you retain more information than you thought. If you cannot retain much of the information, don't beat yourself up.

Once you finish with the mastermind map - go back over the eight reasons why you should celebrate your mistakes. Do not spend more than 10 minutes reviewing the eight steps. Now, based on your review of the eight reasons, revise your mastermind map to make it more accurate and complete.


We have helped you to see how you can learn from your mistakes. The goal was to help you prepare for changing your habits.

Let us know what you think!


Join the conversation! Click on the stars from above.

Ryan K (May 14, 2016)

Rating: [5 out of 5 stars!]

"Great insight. My fear of messing up a task makes me hesitate at work, which actually makes me mess up more than if i didnt have the actual worry."

Topdog (May 24, 2010)

Rating: [5 out of 5 stars!]

"Very informative. I feel aversion therapy always helped me, however I am constantly busy never giving myself time to think of the damage to myself."

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