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Anxiety around owning up to mistakes

This might soun weird but...

I get really anxious about fessing up when I have made a mistake. I always always put things off and until its get really bad and I have to be honest, then I feel even worse about it when I can't

So for example (as ridiculous as it sounds) I need to go to the library but I've held a book of theirs for about 2 years but I need to go and talk to them about getting a new card. I'm so worried about what they will say when I give them the overdue book and they ask me to pay the fine, to the point where I think I will have to avoid the library for the rest of my life, but I can't do that. I'm really getting worked up over it even though I shouldn't...

How am I supposed to do anything if I get so stressed out about being honest. Is there something seriously wrong with me??
//You can stay afraid, or slit the throat of fear and be brave//

Re: Anxiety around owning up to mistakes

@j95 that doesn't sound weird at all. 


I used to be quite avoidant about owning up to some of my mistakes, and it makes it quite nerve wracking when it's been a long time and you're not sure how it's going to all play out. 


Have you received any letters to advise you what the fine might be like? That might at least help you prepare to face the situation. I honestly don't think it will be anywhere near as bad as you might imagine it to be. It's unlikely that you're the only one with a super overdue book! As for other being honest in our situations - I think it's generally easiest to admit it as soon as possible after you've made a mistake. 


The sooner you do that, the sooner you can stop feeling guilty about it and the chances are the other person will respect your honesty! I definitely find that much easier than doing it after waiting some time. 



Re: Anxiety around owning up to mistakes

@benjamin_ the whole library situation... Yeah I just went in there and said I'm really sorry I forgot I had this and they didn't even mention any fine, I felt stupid for stressing so much over it...

But yeah thanks! I think owning up to things as soon as it happens is something I need to work on for sure!
//You can stay afraid, or slit the throat of fear and be brave//

Re: Anxiety around owning up to mistakes

Hey @j95 well done for taking the iniative and returning your book even though you were anxious about it, and looks like it was a good result for you too!


I can definitely say I have had the same issues in the past with getting anxious over mistakes, it's completely normal, and you can just look at how you went at the library to see how maybe sometimes we can make things bigger then they are. Don't feel stupid for stressing over it, you can always learn from the past, so don't let it get you down.


Being honest with yourself and not being afraid to make a mistake is always a great way to go about it, and sounds like you are on the right track for sure. Let us know you go with this next time.

Re: Anxiety around owning up to mistakes

Hey Jay - I just wanted to say congrats for facing your fear - AND to remember this situation next time you are worrying about a mistake like this (& use your WorryTime App!)


Also, have you heard about the term "catastrophising"? It's an irrational thought (that a lot of us have) where we believe that something is far worse than it actually is. I definitely catch myself doing this.


The first step to dealing with catastrophising is to recognise when you’re doing it. The sooner you do this, the quicker you’ll be able to start focusing on stopping it....

Online Community Manager

Re: Anxiety around owning up to mistakes

hey @j95


I'm late to reply to this, but just wanted to say well done on sorting it all out!  As Sophie mentioned, try to think of this situation next time you feel anxious about owning up to something! You'll likely find that the more you own up to stuff and have experiences like this, the easier it'll become to do it in future.