Stop Dwelling on Little Mistakes

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Consider this a follow-up to my prior post of learning to laugh at yourself.

I make lots of little mistakes. Or so I think. A gaffe here and a misspoken or misused word there. Over the course of a day those little faux pas add up.

The truth is, no one likely noticed these little mishaps, but me. Yes, realizing I mispronounced a word makes me feel dumb and think I look dumb, but the person I was having a conversation with probably didn’t even notice.

Here’s where just letting it go should begin.

This article in Oprah Magazine has some good pointers on just letting things go because “Ruminating regularly often leads to depression.”

For those whom the article dubs “overthinkers” perfectionism leads to obsessing over minute details that didn’t go perfectly. Learning to let things that are insignificant in the grand scheme of things takes an effort and seems difficult at first, but is worth it. You’ll feel less stressed and happier.



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Like most Millennials, I am a perfectionist. I want everything to be perfect in all aspects of my life.

A colleague commented to me yesterday that if a particular project I’ve worked really hard on, doesn’t have any glitches and doesn’t need any changes, then I’ve set the bar pretty high for myself. I mentioned that what the final version doesn’t show is the several hours of errors that I worked through to make sure the final version was perfect.

That conversation got me thinking about the sheer amount of effort it takes to be perfect or at least perceived as doing things perfectly and how that relates to respect in an office environment.

Would my peers respect me more if they saw the process and knew all the times I failed before I got it right? Maybe. But while my peers might respect me more, I know my superiors would prefer to only see the finished and perfected project and for me not to waste their time.

How do you walk the line between wanting your office mates to respect you and ensuring you maintain the standards you’ve set for yourself and your supervisors expect?