Failure is an unpleasant yet normal experience in life. For some it can feel as if it is the end of the world. The reason for such despair usually stems from perfectionist tendencies: seeing things in black or white; things are either perfect or terrible.
These individuals may not try “risky” new things, making themselves more prone to depression and giving up. Perfectionism also leads to a lot of anxiety which can preclude productivity. Achieving anything less than what is seen as perfect can lead to great emotional pain and lowered self-esteem. Feelings of despair can be so intense that it can make one think he or she cannot possibly recover from the pain experienced from a relatively minor mistake. As perfectionism comes with unrealistic goals, it can make people feel as if they are always failures no matter how hard they try or not as good as they would like themselves to be.
Therapy can help them identify these hard-to-achieve goals, and help them replace them with more achievable goals. It will rewire the irrational ideas of perfectionism and teach coping strategies to deal with them.
“I hope in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, you are doing something.” (Neil Gaiman)
Always remember that challenges, mistakes and failures can come at all levels in life. What counts is that you did your best and didn’t give up! So next time you make a mistake, forgive yourself and give yourself a big, warm hug!