What to do when you f*ck up at work

Have you ever made a mistake at work and then hoped it would go away? I have, guilty!

What did it do for me? It created a sh*tload of stress and fear of being percieved of now knowing what I was doing.

I was scared because I thought I would be punished for making a mistake. I thought that people would think less of me. I was in my early 20’s and just really getting going in my career. So in my head, everything was at stake.

But all that happened is that I created a negative story that was based on my thoughts.  I then had it on repeat in my head so it became louder and I started believing it. I was allowing my fear to control me and tell me stories, convincing myself that I would get into trouble.

I’m the kind of girl that hates lying and covering things up, so this situation really troubled me! After a few days, I went to my boss, got a bit of a nervous sweat on, sat her down and told her about the mistake I made. It was very obvious that I was nervous.

What did she do? She laughed at me!

She explained that what I had done was easily fixable and she showed me how to correct it.

All that worry I had created for myself when actually my mistake was fixable!? It was my lack of knowledge that meant I didn’t know I could fix it. It was because I didn’t have exposure to the whole system and process that meant I didn’t realise this.

My boss also explained to me what would have happened if I hadn’t come clean. If I had kept my error under wraps, there would have been big consequences…which I think she would have really been pissed at.

By owning up, I actually learned something new. From then on, I started to see that mistakes are actually learnings.

As my career progressed, I would comfortably own up to any mistakes I’d made. We are only human. It happens.

I also noticed that when I owned up, people were shocked. It’s actually a rare thing for people to do!

Now, I’m not saying I’m someone who f*cks up all the time but I’m also not perfect. And I’m ok with that.  Do you feel pressured to be perfect? Do you put the pressure on yourself? Imagine if that was gone…

I used to put the pressure on MYSELF. Nobody else was doing it. When I became comfortable in taking ownership of my f*ck ups, my confidence actually went through the roof AND managers gave me more responsibility because they knew I was honest and that they could trust me. #Whodathought?!

If you strive for perfection, you create a pressure bubble for yourself. The pressure increases and you’ll be headed towards burnout…and we don’t want that, do we? We put our own selves in our own way when we create this pressure bubble. We become blockers of our own potential.

A quote I seen really stuck with me: “We are awesome. We just have to get out of our own way”.

Dee is the Career Transformation Expert for women and the founder of The Female Mogul. With 14+ years HR and Recruitment experience working for Global Multi-National Companies, she has a wealth of experience in Talent Management and her career has taken her around the world. A modern blend of femininity and trucker mouth with a dash of gangsta, Dee is the Career Transformation Expert that is disrupting the status quo!



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