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Merrily Make More Mistakes on Monday!

What kind of title is that for a blog? Why would you want to make more mistakes and even if you did, why on Monday? Let’s deal with the making more mistakes part first.

Many of the clients I see express the need to be perfect. They fear making mistakes and feel horrible when they mess up. Some of these folks even berate themselves for making trivial, largely inconsequential mistakes like parking a few inches over the line of a parking space or making a few typoss on a blog (NOTE TO EDITOR: please don’t correct my typos in today’s blog!).

Some clients with sever obsessive compulsive disorder rachet this concern up to the point that they spend hours reviewing everything they right to insure a complete absence of errors. Others re-read passages from books over and over again to be sure that they remember every single detail. Still others consume large blocks of time arranging everything in their closets in perfect alignment with identical  spacing between each item.

If you’re a perfectionist, I strongly recommend that you get a grip! Stop viewing all mistakes as terrible. I can guarantee you that I’ve learned more from making mistakes than I ever would have if I didn’t make them.

Furthermore, mistakes are simply part of being human. Frankly, I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t even want a truly “perfect’ person to be my fiend. Think about it. Someone who always has perfect posture, perfect hair, perfect clothes, perfection diction. Yuck. Sounds like an atomitron to me (is that a word? I think not; who cares!). So if you want to quit letting your need for perfection stress you out, I have an exercise for you. Set aside a day for making as many mistakes as you possibly can. Consider:

  • Parking over the line (but don’t do this one if it’s a very crowded parking lot with precious few spaces!)
  • Go in the out door and visa versa.
  • Make minor misspellings on non-critical papers.
  • Forget to cross your t’s and dot your i’s.
  • Wear one blue sock and one brown.
  • Comb a few hairs to be out of place.
  • Leave one button unbuttoned.

 

You get the idea. And obviously, it’s not a great idea to make all of these mistakes when they might really matter like during a job interview. Certainly you’d never want to make mistaeks in something as important as a blog, for example. But you might be surprised by how many places and ways you can make a bunch of mistakes in without serious consequences. Loosen up a little. You’ll be glad you did.

So when should you start? How about next Monday? Why Monday? No reason; it just sounded good in the title to me.

Oops road sign photo available from Shutterstock.

Merrily Make More Mistakes on Monday!


Charles H. Elliott, Ph.D.

Charles H. Elliott, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and a Founding Fellow in the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. He is also a member of the faculty at Fielding Graduate University. He specializes in the treatment of adolescents and adults with obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, anger, depression, and personality disorders. Dr. Elliott is coauthor of: Overcoming Anxiety For Dummies (2nd Ed), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder For Dummies, Seasonal Affective Disorder For Dummies, Anxiety and Depression Workbook For Dummies, Depression For Dummies, Why Can't I Get What I Want?, Why Can’t I Be the Parent I Want to Be?, and Hollow Kids: Recapturing the Soul of a Generation Lost to the Self-Esteem Myth. His website is: http://www.psychology4people.com


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APA Reference
Elliott, C. (2012). Merrily Make More Mistakes on Monday!. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/anxiety/2012/03/merrily-make-more-mistakes-on-monday/

 

Last updated: 1 Apr 2012
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