How to Stop Worrying About Mistakes at Work


I’m standing next to a powerful woman at this networking event. She introduces my friend and I to her friend.

There is a slightly longer than usual pause and I rush to fill the empty space.

“Oh and this is my friend Alfred.”

“We already met,” Alfred says.

“Oh, I’m sorry. You knew each other already.”

“No. Mary just introduced us.”

Another awkward pause and I say.

“I’m sorry.” I flush red.  “Wow. I have a 10 month old at home and my brain just isn’t working well today,” 

They rush to fill the empty space and Mary says she has a 11 month old at home.

So the conversation steers in that direction.

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The whole drive home I replay my stupidity over and over.

I can’t believe I totally spaced out and didn’t notice that my friend was also introduced to this guy. It didn’t even register.

I was tired and I was nervous, but still it’s no excuse. I should have been paying attention.

Then I woke up in the middle of the night.

What a jackass I was, I thought to myself.

Then I thought about what this meant for myself in the bigger picture. Does this affect my career?

Not much.

Even it if did I can recover. I’ve recovered from stupid mistakes before.


It would have helped to be much more suave, but in the grand scheme of things I still had great clients, a loving family, and food in my fridge.

I screwed up, but it wasn’t the end of the world.

Nothing we go through is the end of the world.

Unless it really is the end of the world. And if that happens, nothing else matters.

I should be more concerned with the state of our oceans more then looking like a douche bag to a powerful woman in my city that could help my business.


I thought about 5 good things in my life:

1. My wife

2. My sons

3. Turkey sandwiches

4. Cold glass of water with a dash of cranberry juice.

5. My soft pillow

I decided to just laugh at my nerdiness. I get nervous in front of others. It’s actually very interesting to see myself flub over something like that situation.

I can give a presentation to 200 people without too much difficulty, but I can’t stay focused long enough around an important person to avoid looking like an idiot.

You may notice I’m calling myself names throughout, but I do it to show you that I’ve stopped taking myself so seriously. We all make mistakes, but it’s all about accessing them and letting them go.

Move on so you can get back to doing great stuff.