The fear of making mistakes

The fear of making mistakes

The fear of making mistakes can have individual (psychological) or organizational causes. The classic individual cause is perfectionism, which leads to lack of productivity, tense climate, micromanagement, and burnout. 

The organizational cause can come from a culture in which exists a fear of failure, a culture in which failure is analyzed not to see what we can learn from it, but to find and punish the guilty, a culture that punishes action, but not the mistakes made due to inaction, causing a total lack of initiative.

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Critical Thinking


How to counter perfectionism?
  1. Pilot: A small qualitative market research followed by the launch of a minimum viable product, an imperfect prototype, can bring more valuable information than any analysis made in front of the computer.
  2. Give yourself a deadline.: The work expands to fill all the time allotted. The same goes for decisions, we make them as late as possible. And sometimes it is too late when we find out it is too late.
  3. Define the main goal, a target, a purpose, and decide based on the alignment to this purpose.
  4. Flip a coin: Not to let luck decide. No. But because when the coin is in the air, we will know what we want to get.
Analysis paralysis

Analysis paralysis is the tendency to act only when you are ultra-confident about the chosen solution can result from two psychological mechanisms: the fear of making mistakes and the belief that, choosing a solution now, we miss the chance of finding a much better one.

The second mechanism of analysis paralysis is the reluctance to choose a solution because maybe if we think about it one more day, we will find a much better one.

The perfect solution fallacy is called the Nirvana fallacy and it prevents us from seeing the effectiveness of the solutions we have at hand.

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Paradox of Choice

It means that while increased choice allows us to achieve objectively better results, it also leads to greater anxiety, indecision, paralysis, and dissatisfaction.

The Nirvana fallacy

The Nirvana fallacy is a form of perfectionism and it consists in comparing existing solutions with ideal, unrealistic ones.

Diagnose problems to get at their root causes. Focus on the what is before deciding what to do about it.

A good diagnosis typically takes between fifteen minutes and an hour, depending on how well it’s done and how complex the issue is. You should speak to people and look at the evidence together to determine the root causes.

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