May 12


You are not doing yourself any favors by avoiding mistakes

By Harry Heijligers

May 12, 2021

I don't know about you, but I still have difficulties doing new things. And that is always because I am afraid that I am not capable of doing it. I have lost many opportunities in my life because I even did not dare to try to go for them.

Perfectionism is a major cause for people to procrastinate. I wrote about this in my book The Anti-Procrastination Mindset (page 10). You need to know if perfectionism is for you the thing that makes you procrastinate.

So... please read on and check if this is the case for you...

and discover what to do about it.


Fear of failure or simply not good enough?

As a recovering perfectionist myself, this struck a chord with me and resonated with me on multiple levels. One of the reasons why entrepreneurship has been such good therapy for me is because it's so ridiculously hard -- meaning, there's no chance at all for any fear-based procrastination! It's all about the willingness to take a risk, and I think that's been one of the hardest things for me to accept.

I know some people who have taken business courses but still see themselves as "not enough" entrepreneurs because they lack experience or exposure to the business world. This is an utterly illogical mindset that makes absolutely no sense at all. Again, it comes back to fear: the fear of failing, the fear of not being good enough. Find out
here if you are the kind of person that falls victim to the fear of failure.

It's because of this fear that you want to do everything perfectly. You want to know everything about everything in advance to be okay with losing something, or you don't want to lose anything at all. It's a passive mindset. It leads to procrastination because you want to plan everything before you begin. Instead of taking action and then learning what works and what doesn't. You will be stuck in a "reaction-based" rather than "action-based" mindset.

"There are two kinds of people in this world:
Those who want to get things done...
And those who don't want to make mistakes."
--John C. Maxwell

Procrastination caused by Perfectionism Quote1

Perfectionism is like a Ferrari with no engine:

it's all looks and no power.

Perfectionism is based on fear.

It may feel overwhelming, but in reality, it can be tackled.

Therefore, you no longer have to procrastinate on the things that are important to you.

Why you can't get started

In my experience, it is essential to make mistakes in life so you can learn from them. Life is all about learning. Don't deny yourself that!

There are two types of mistakes when it comes to perfectionism. The ones that cause you pain or regret. And the ones that are worthy of praise and encouragement.

You might think that you protect yourself from failure if you procrastinate. But the fact is, you are actually setting yourself up for more disappointment. You are not taking rapid action towards your dreams. In other words, you are taking too long to act and get started with what you want.




I have difficulty moving past the mistakes I make.


So, we're talking about fear of failure, right?




Failure is not an event or an occurrence. It's a learning opportunity.

Take the learning route

I have seen many people who have huge dreams and goals but don't know how to get them started. They procrastinate because they feel so overwhelmed in the process of getting started, and they do not want that to happen again in the future.

If you genuinely want to succeed in life and business, it is essential to have a mindset of "failure is not an event or an occurrence" but rather "a learning opportunity".

Everything in life is a learning experience. Taking action and making mistakes will help you grow, as well as adopting new strategies.

Procrastination caused by Perfectionism Quote2

Perfectionism is like a bomb that never explodes.

It's just fear in a box.

Perfectionism gets you stuck.

You are afraid to move.

You are scared to take action.

You feel stuck and paralyzed.

Fear of failure and making the wrong decisions keeps you from moving forward.




What do you mean?


Failure is not something that is terrible and should never happen. It's just a part of the process.


So I can make mistakes and still be happy about it?



Your Challenge for today

Be willing to make mistakes.

Think of something you need to do today. Something you are not sure about.
Imagine that everything will go south. You will fail, whatever it is you are doing.
Be willing to experience it.

Accept that you might fail.

Decide to take the risk, and acknowledge that there is a possibility you will not succeed at what you are doing today.
But hey... why would you deny yourself a great learning experience? The worst thing that can happen is that you will become an improved version of yourself at the end of the day.

Please, comment below: what's your biggest fear?

Learn from pain and regretful mistakes.

Think of something that happened recently. Something that didn't go well. What can you learn from it?
Can you create a new way of working for yourself?
Do you need to make some adjustments to your timing?
What can you do better next time?
How will you make sure that next time, indeed, will go better?

Please, comment below: what are your revelations?

Learn from your successes.

Think of something that happened recently. Something that went surprisingly well.
What can you learn from that?
This is your treasure trove because it is the proof that you are capable of something amazing.

"Do not hide your light under a basket."
-- Matthew 5:14-16

Please, share your treasures below in the comment box.

Be the Surfer of your life!

The Surfer is on the board, right in the middle of the wave.
The wave could be small and calm.
It could be huge and powerful.

Either way...
it comes crashing down with force.

Either way...
there's a chance that the Surfer will be tossed around by the surf for quite some time.

Whatever happens...
The Surfer took a risk!
He knew he would be pitched around.
He knew he could get hurt by the wave.
It doesn't let that stop him.
The Surfer takes the risk.
He's in complete control of his destiny.

If your life is like a wave, then you need to be The Surfer! It's up to you to take the risk!
Be in control of your own life.




What do you mean... part of the process?


Everyone makes mistakes, and that's okay. They're just advice for how to avoid making them again.


But if everything is an opportunity for me to make a mistake, won't I just keep making more and more mistakes?


No. What we're talking about is learning from your failures and using what you learn to improve your future work.


Ah! I think I get it now!


No need to. The "Process" will show you as it usually does.


No kidding!



Harry Heijligers

About the author

Harry Heijligers has more than 25 years of experience as a Project Manager and more than 17 years of experience as an NLP Trainer. He has a Dutch blog about NLP here:
If you'd like to know about the Smart Leadership Hut, please check this: Smart Leadership Hut.

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