Why we hate making mistakes

Musicians, artists, writers and other creators deal with problems like these:

  • Perfectionism

  • Performance anxiety

  • Tension

  • Writer’s block

  • Low self-confidence

They’re all based on a common source: a fear of making mistakes.

That fear is usually learned in early childhood, but it sticks with us throughout our lives.

I remember being 4 years old and a girl in my class made fun of me for coloring outside the lines. Now, as an adult, there is some fear of making mistakes while drawing.

It starts off as fear of social rejection. From an evolutionary perspective, this fear makes sense. Babies will die if they are rejected by their parents.

Fear of social rejection becomes the motivator for learning lots of skills.

Social rejection isn’t as deadly as it might have been to our ancestors. Yet, in 2021, we find it difficult to practice our creative skills because we’re worried about what other people will think if we mess up.

That’s messed up, isn’t it?


P.S. I wanted to let you know about a new program I am going to offer soon. It addresses this very issue. If you’re a musician or an artist or a writer or anyone else who practices a skill and suffers from perfectionism, etc., you might be interested in this.


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