The fear of making a mistake can be paralyzing in normal times, and it’s even worse when we’re living through a period of heightened uncertainty. But there are things you can do to get unstuck. Start by naming your thoughts and feelings. For example, if you work in retail right now, you might be worried about making mistakes around reopening. Try to pinpoint your specific concern. Maybe it’s something like: “I feel anxious about the safety of my customers and my staff.” Stating your fears helps diffuse them. Next, try to accept reality by making a list of truths you might need to come to grips with, such as: “I understand that people will not always behave in ideal ways.” Finally, think about how you can act on your values to address the situation. Let’s say one conscientiousness is important to you. You might apply that value by making sure your employees have masks that fit them well and easy access to hand sanitizer. Using a process like this to address each of your fears will help you learn to tolerate uncertainty without worrying too much about making a mistake.

This tip is adapted from “How to Overcome Your Fear of Making Mistakes,” by Alice Boyes

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