Three ways to cope with fear of mistakes
Fear of messing up, especially in a professional setting, is only natural. In a healthcare environment, where the stakes may be life-and-death, that fear can be crippling. Here are some helpful tips to navigate the line between staying sharp and staying calm.
Tip 1: Rely on your team
Most medical mistakes are a result of improper procedures, system structures, or general oversight. In training and practice, there should be layers of medical professionals checking and double-checking your work. Ask for (and offer!) assistance when needed, and adhere to evidence-based performance guidelines. They’re in place for a reason.
Tip 2: Mistakes can serve a higher purpose
Mistakes happen. Once corrected, they can serve as a learning — and teaching — opportunity, ensuring the same mistake is never repeated.
Tip 3: Make friends with fear
Fear can be a gift. It keeps us wary, mindful, and vigilant, and motivates continual learning. Well-managed fear can be a friend . . . but it should never be a boss.
Explore useful wellness principles and practices in our course, Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals.