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Everybody Makes Mistakes – The Myth of Perfection

Amanda Sollman

Everybody Makes Mistakes - The Myth of Perfection

Whether it's at work or at home, everybody makes mistakes. They're never fun, but man are they valuable! We made a mistake recently and we couldn't wait to share, since we figured a lot of people will probably be able to relate.

The story starts with our Survivor’s Guide to Thriving podcast – hopefully you've seen it! It's one of our favorite projects and we're really excited for all the great discussions we have through this show. One of the great things about a podcast is how much, as a listener, you can learn in a fairly short time. What we didn't realize, though, is that we'd be learning some things along the way too...

The Mistake

See, we posted a new episode the other day. It was all about building relationships and had some really awesome insights. There was only one problem:

For the first minute or so, all you could hear is us stumbling through our technology. And then later I have to step away because my dogs are barking. And then later Mark loses his train of thought. You see, when we were recording the episode, we thought all of this was going to get edited out in post-production by our production team but…well, it didn’t.

Whoops.

As soon as we figured out what had happened, we reached out to the producers, asked them to take it down and clean up the editing, etc. Unfortunately, at the time we realized our mistake, it was about 5 am – nothing was happening until people started waking up. Mark and I were stuck with the knowledge of an error being out there for everyone to hear, but there wasn’t much we could do about it.

Choosing Your Reaction

Now, Old Me probably would have been pretty mad about this. We’d already sent out email blasts and social media posts promoting the episode. People had probably listened to it at this point. It was definitely a screw-up and, in the past, I would have gotten my hackles way up about a mistake being made and being that public.

But, instead, New Me (the one who meditates and is trying to be better at choosing how I feel, instead of reacting to every trigger I encounter) decided to reflect on three questions before freaking out:

  1. Did this mistake hurt anyone? (No.)
  2. Can we fix it? (Yes.)
  3. Can we learn something from the experience? (Absolutely!)

Was it a hot mess? Oh yeah. But based on the answers above, at the end of the day – no harm, no foul.

And, if you were lucky enough to take a listen, our process either horrified or entertained you ;)

Why It's Important to Talk About Our Mistakes

In today’s appearance-obsessed world, we’re so quick to default to a desire for perfectionism. We can’t let anyone see our errors or the cracks in our armor. I was actually just reading a section about perfectionism in Daring Greatly by Brene Brown the night before this happened (ironic, huh?) where she said this:

Perfectionism is a defensive move. It’s the belief that if we do things perfectly and look perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgement and shame. Perfectionism is a twenty-ton shield that we lug around, thinking it will protect us, when in fact it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from being seen. 

So, instead of trying to pretend for all of you that this didn't happen and let you be confused by that crazy recording – I'm rebelling against the idea of perfection and being a perfectionist.

As this experience so clearly demonstrates, we all make mistakes sometimes. Wires cross somewhere in the lines of communication. We forget to do something. In this case, the episode did get edited and the production team just accidentally grabbed the wrong file.

It happens.

But when it does, we need to stop dwelling on the error and start growing from the experience! We have the ability to evolve every day – it’s a key tenant of thriving! – and part of that evolution is trying to learn something whenever we encounter imperfection in ourselves and our actions.

Even when it happens on iTunes for the whole world to see.


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