“What to do When you Make a Mistake” – Jeremy Statton

“What to do When you Make a Mistake” – Jeremy Statton

I’m a perfectionist, and I’m also extremely impulsive–not exactly the best combination, obviously.  The latter means that I make mistakes a lot, and the former means I tend to beat myself up about them.  I don’t like screwing up–who does?–especially when my scrapes end up involving innocent bystanders (I’m like a bomb; there is always shrapnel.).

My default mode when I screw up is literally to freeze and start over, usually from scratch.  Unfortunately, the mistake usually makes me lose steam, so the project–whatever it is–rarely manages to get resurrected with the same passion as its initial, flawed incarnation.  A lot of my big ideas have died because I’ve screwed them up the first time (sometimes to the detriment of aforementioned bystanders), which is probably why, at twenty, I’m freaking out because there’s so much I could have done that I never got done!

I stumbled upon this article while trying to clear my head for Business Law, and while it’s no cure-all for my perfectionist neuroses, it’s simple enough prose and gets the point across.

Fix what you can fix.
Don’t dwell.
If you’ve affected someone else, apologize.
Keep moving forward.

Lather, rinse, repeat.  A good read for all you neurotic perfectionists in the hypothetical room.  We will all inevitably slip up, sometimes with catastrophic results.  Fortunately, life is long and full of (at least partial) do-overs and opportunities to “redeem yourself.”  Seize those opportunities.  Don’t freeze up.

(Cue the song, “I give myself very good advice, but I seldom ever follow it…”)



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