Learning to Find Comfort in Messing Up

I get annoyed at myself a lot. Like, a lot. Multiple times a day. Part of that is my natural inclination after years of experiencing depression and anxiety, but part of it feels like human nature. No one is is happy about every single choice they make. We’re humans and we make mistakes. The problem is, I can hear that a million times, but an aspect of that never sinks in. Failing is extremely uncomfortable to me, and even though I’m discovering why, that doesn’t make it any easier to manage.

Over the years, I’ve created an unrealistic way of viewing failure. I don’t think that’s a unique thing to say, but I think we all have a unique way that we create this unrealistic view. In my situation, I create lose-lose situation for myself when it comes to working on tasks and working toward my goals. I either a) accomplish my goal and minimize the importance of that by telling myself I was supposed to get it done or I b) beat myself up for failing to reach whatever goal I set, regardless of questioning if that goal was realistic in the first place.

Basically, I’m either self-deprecating with success or self-critical with failure. Either way you look at it, this approach isn’t designed to handle or manage failure in a healthy way. In fact, it’s not even designed to acknowledge that failure is an option. And since this is my day-to-day life we’re talking about here and not an exciting action movie, I’m ignoring the obvious. Failure is absolutely an option – and I’ve built it up as something to be feared instead of something based in reality.

When you build something up so much that you’re afraid of what happens when you make a mistake, one thing is clear – whatever path you’re on, it’s not the right one. I live most of my day in nerve-wracking suspense. I never get too comfortable in being myself, because if I get too comfortable I’ll make a mistake, and if I make a mistake I’ll be angry with myself. I don’t like that this happens, but I don’t think I could work on changing this until I acknowledge what’s going on. And let’s be honest – it’s no way to go through life, and it’s no way to build a healthy mindset.

So, where do I go from here? Oftentimes I feel like my posts read like diary entries where I just write about what’s on my mind, but I also know there’s value in naming aspects of ourselves that we want to improve. How can you improve an aspect of your wellness if you don’t know that you’re falling short in that area? With the help of others, I’ve been able to recognize that I put far too much in minuscule mistakes I make. That hasn’t stopped me from beating myself up over them, but it’s a start. Now it’s time to find a way to improve how I manage those feelings in a healthy, helpful way – just like an other aspect of living with mental health challenges.

It took me a long time to admit that I’m too hard on myself about making mistakes. How about you? Have you ever found it difficult to figure out an area of life you’re struggling with? Let me know in the comments!


7 thoughts on “Learning to Find Comfort in Messing Up

  1. dork4lyfe October 12, 2021 / 11:26 am

    Very timely as I f-ed today and complete forgot about a session I had. I think perfectionism & fear of making mistakes have deep roots in our family! ❤️❤️❤️ thanks for sharing. I’m trying to be gentle with myself while also learning from this embarrassing experience.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Nathan @ MBNB October 13, 2021 / 2:50 pm

      I’m hoping to address that fear of making mistakes more going forward and hoping that helps shift my mindset! But yes, we have to be gentle – 20+ years of thinking one way is hard to unlearn in a short amount of time 💙💙💙


  2. Mentally Ill In America October 12, 2021 / 12:06 pm

    I think that figuring out things is a part of life. Like it or not. I have a few things I work on that only time reveals where I need to be on them. No one really knows the work that goes into something, just the final result. Everything that gets done is done behind the scenes, with a lot of sweat and tears.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nathan @ MBNB October 13, 2021 / 2:52 pm

      I like that mindset – for some reason I’m embarrassed to admit that there are so many more things to figure out, and I get frustrated when I’m not sure what the final result will be. Thank you for this reminder!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Hysterical Lunatic October 12, 2021 / 9:28 pm

    My greatest challenge was in figuring out (making sense of, coming to terms with) who the new me was supposed to be. Brain surgery was supposed to save my life but in many ways it ended it; I woke up a foreigner to my own mental landscape. It took about a decade for me to finally reach the rock bottom of it and what I figured out… is that it never mattered.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nathan @ MBNB October 13, 2021 / 2:54 pm

      Thank you for sharing your experience and perspective – sending you positive vibes on your mental health journey.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The Hysterical Lunatic October 15, 2021 / 12:11 am

    Sorry, upon reviewing I realize I needed to elaborate on what I mean by “it never mattered”. I did a lot of agonizing over being better, overcoming everything, growing out of the muck. I sacrificed so much joy and peace and life just because I thought I had to. The neurotic pursuit of self-improvement. I never could perform the way it seemed everyone else could, and it hurt me to know that. That’s the part that never mattered. I made my own perception of success contingent on my flawed perception of how others reached the success they publicized. That’s a mouthful, sorry. But that’s what I meant, didn’t mean to sound awfully negative.


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