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Constantly Making Mistakes

Raggamuffin

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
It's been this way in every job. This new job is no different. Obviously there's a grace period being a new person. Plus my training was with someone who is only in the office about 25% of the week. Sink or swim so to speak. It helps you adapt quickly. But once the routine begins, I start making mistakes and they happen a lot more often than other people.

Not only that, but when it costs the company money. Then what? Initially, a grace period. But once the pattern continues, and my efforts to check, re-check and double check still has errors slipping through. What then?

Making mistakes causes me a cascade of anxiety. This is ontop of the daily worry, lack of sense of safety and other jazz going on. This year in general has been higher in anxiety and stress than recent history. So you could pin some of it on that, or the ADHD, or whatever else.

Fact is - I keep making mistakes. In previous jobs it got me into meetings with managers, people telling me the mistakes "can't continue". Threats of disciplinary action. One job even ended up with me having meetings with the director.

I'm terrified of making mistakes. When I make them - my fight or flight kicks in. I admit to them, but I feel humbled, and I feel incapable. I guess I feel like an imposter. Not able to do simple tasks repeatedly without making mistakes.

This job involves spreadsheets, various sites, paperwork, data entry. You need to do a heck of a lot of steps in order to get things done. It's very stop start, as you wait for replies from customers, hauliers, the mill, my colleagues. Once again, I'm in a job which isn't best suited for me. Multi-tasking, and focusing on accurately imputting info takes a lot out of me. I check and re-check and still keep making mistakes.

I really don't know what to do at this point. I get stuck in a vicious cycle:

Fear of making mistakes > Mistakes occur > Anxiety/stress > More mistakes occur

Today I made a mistake and text my bosses partner when I got home to say what'd happened, after fretting and panicking the whole way home. Get home, go upstairs and then notice I also took some keys home with me after unlocking a container. Ring work, colleague speaks with the boss who says "don't worry about it". Yet all I seem to be doing is worrying more about it.

How long until I start getting in trouble in this job? It's the best paid job I've had. When I first saw my pay I thought it was a mistake. Checked my tax code, checked with the woman in accounts. All correct. Don't feel worthy of the salary. Keep making mistakes. Eventually I fear they'll fire me for my incompetancy.

I really wish there was an off button in my brain. I work myself into a panic. But as I said before - I've always struggled with mistakes, in every job, in uni and college and school. Always being told I'm a fast worker, but make too many mistakes. When I try and slow it down, my brains starts to fizz, because I know I can work faster. Eventually I'm back up to my old speed. But when re-checking my work isn't fixing the problem, what on earth am I supposed to do?

I'm dreading going into work tomorrow. Every day I'm catching multiple errors through re-checking my work, but still other errors slip through. Some I can correct, others I have to raise my hand and say to the higher ups that I've messed up (again).

It really does shatter my self confidence, and the amount of panic and anxiety I feel when a mistake is made is utterly exhausting. My brain is feeling frazzled right now, and I won't know what'll happen until tomorrow. So I have to try my best to "let go" and enjoy my evening. All the while I'm convinced tomorrow I'm going to get told off.

This cycle of mistakes and anxiety is honestly exhausting. But I make mistakes constantly even when I'm doing things I enjoy doing. I don't know what it is? Impulsivity is one explanation, but distraction is another. I remember unlocking the toilets and storage container today, but before I set off to unlock the doors I told myself "don't forget to go straight back and put the keys back" but I got distracted and forgot. Then it turns out I took the keys home with me. I phoned the office as I was driving back to work. But then turned around when I was told not to worry about it. Once I hung up the phone I was panic stricken so much that I started to gag and wretch and felt like I was going to throw up.

I feel like a god damn idiot. I'd hoped verbalising it all would help, but it hasn't. Anxiety and panic have been so high that my chest really hurts. I just have to get through the aftermath of such high anxiety, because it's now riled up my daily aches and pains. I'm so tired of feeling like an incompetant. Truth is I know I'm more than capable of the job. I just can't ever seem to do anything consistently or methodically.

Ed
 
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AprilR

Well-Known Member
I have problems at work as well, but it's bc i work too slow, stall things bc i am worried about making a mistake. This is a problem as well.

I talked about this with my psych today and she said i am bad with multitasking also.

Our brains process info differently, so if you are doing your best i think you shouldn't feel like a failure. Have you talked to a psychiatrist about this?
 

Raggamuffin

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
The bosses wife replied to my long message saying don't worry.

I wish I could absorb what people say.

Don't worry they say. But now I'm crying. How does that even work? Why is my brain doing the complete opposite to what people say I should be doing/feeling.

@AprilR I really do try hard, and I'm a people pleaser. So it makes the mistakes even harder. I take each one to heart, and it hurts. I'm so tired of being in a near constant state of worry and panic.

I'm starting EMDR therapy in a few weeks. I really hope it can help me. I'm tired of constantly feeling scared, worried and unsafe.

Ed
 

AprilR

Well-Known Member
I am sorry you are feeling so stressed.

i also sometimes start crying when people are nice to me, or when someone says or does something that relieves me.
I think, how can i let people down when they are so nice? Or that i don't deserve that kindness. Maybe its like that for you as well.

I hope therapy can help you with your issues at work. I never got EMDR but it is apparently better for autistic people than cognitive behavioral therapy.
 

Atrapa Almas

70% INTJ + 30% ASPIE = 100% HUMAN
V.I.P Member
Hello,

I have a collaborator that also makes tons of mistakes, and he have been terrified of me for over a year. I think he is an Aspie.

As his boss, I think the fear and anxiety is his main problem. His mistakes can be catched with a review and a solid proccess. But he poor guy is still terrified after more than one year, after I have told him that I trust him.

I can tell you the same thing that I told him (and did not worked). That is to accept your limitations and work arround them.

A fish that is hired in an company full of eagles could think that he is very stupid because he cant fly. He could be terrified by his mistakes at flying, and suffer a lot of anxiety. But if he accept that he is a fish he could start working arround his true skills and deficits.

A tested way to avoid repetitive mistakes in enginnering are check lists. Each step of the proccess must be checked, so nothing is forget.

Another way is to avoid distractors.

There are thousands of ways to work arround deficits. But if you say that you did a mistake you are thinking that you should be able to do it right the next time without any kind of help.

Thats like a person with a missing leg thinking that not being able to normally walk is a "mistake" so he doesnt think about buying a crutch.

You do need a solid strategy to overcome your deficits with actual solutions. And if possible to find where your true skills can be best used in your company.

Focusing on blaming yourself is time lost.

Best of luck.

Edit: This helped me on multitasking:

Its a bit old, but it works. There are apps for that now, but I still use calendar and Notebook.
 
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Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Can't say I had a new job that wasn't horribly stressful. Where it usually took a great deal of time to establish that badly needed comfort- and confidence level. When so much depended largely on the compassion of my supervisors.
 

Raggamuffin

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
@Atrapa Almas I've tried checklists in previous jobs. Problem with this job is that it's very stop start:

Multiple spreadsheets and programmes we use.
I can't simply do a job from start to finish in one go. They usually take days.
Lot's of stop/start. Having to go back to things. Ringing customers, hauliers, speaking with colleagues.
Add to that all the paperwork, and then trying to batch multiple jobs together.

I know eventually I'll get better at it. But the problem is that there's no end of stop/start, and then being asked to do X, Y, Z when you're in the middle of something else. Even if I continue with what I'm doing, knowing there's people waiting for me to do something else makes my brain fizz. I start to physically feel more and more anxious the longer I'm keeping other people waiting.

And each time mistakes are made I sink further into high anxiety, which leads to more problems with cognitive functions and being able to check/re-check, follow procedures etc.

Logically I should follow steps and procedures and check lists. It should be calm and precise like a sharpshooter. Whereas I feel more like a toddler who's been given a machine gun.

Ed
 

Atrapa Almas

70% INTJ + 30% ASPIE = 100% HUMAN
V.I.P Member
@Atrapa Almas I've tried checklists in previous jobs. Problem with this job is that it's very stop start:

Multiple spreadsheets and programmes we use.
I can't simply do a job from start to finish in one go. They usually take days.
Lot's of stop/start. Having to go back to things. Ringing customers, hauliers, speaking with colleagues.
Add to that all the paperwork, and then trying to batch multiple jobs together.

I know eventually I'll get better at it. But the problem is that there's no end of stop/start, and then being asked to do X, Y, Z when you're in the middle of something else. Even if I continue with what I'm doing, knowing there's people waiting for me to do something else makes my brain fizz. I start to physically feel more and more anxious the longer I'm keeping other people waiting.

And each time mistakes are made I sink further into high anxiety, which leads to more problems with cognitive functions and being able to check/re-check, follow procedures etc.

Logically I should follow steps and procedures and check lists. It should be calm and precise like a sharpshooter. Whereas I feel more like a toddler who's been given a machine gun.

Ed
In which area of your company could your skills, values and work ethic be of great value? Maybe you can ask for a change of job inside your company or start learning the other job after you finish your current tasks.

What could you help your company with? Maybe you could lead or propose a new initiative, process or task to improve something.

I built a non existent area in my company based on my personal profile and the needs I found in my company when I came.

To do so I used the knowledge in this 2 books:


There are videos on YouTube that sumarices them quite well.

There is no way a fish can compete with an eagle in flying. You need to avoid competition with NT in fields that NT are naturals. You are not a bad NT, you are a great Autists. Take your skills and make the most of them.
 

Aspychata

Serenity waves, beachy vibes
V.I.P Member
Okay. Maybe realize you ruminate about your job. I know, because l was caught in this trap. It was the jobs that l wasn't micromanaged, l didn't ruminate in. I felt free and l could just be me. So u are micromanging yourself. You work for adults that make decisions. Maybe you work in a place where mistakes happen due to the pace. Maybe they are working with you because they like your personality so you gel with others. My last thought, maybe you need to feel okay about your mistakes and just work a little each week on less mistakes. That's it. Instead of spending time worrying, spend time on trying to do 1% better then the week before. Because you would have been let go if it was such a issue. Some bosses are cool to work for. They allow some mistakes if they like you. Some bosses fire at just one mistake only. Maybe relax, and settle down. Count to 10, breath in thru your nose, exhale thru your mouth when you tense up at work. Just a suggestion.

I always took jobs l had zero experience at. So l was setting myself up for failure. But l kinda like the mental challenge, and l like learning new things, so failure was an option, and perhaps success was another option. So just work at this job, realize it maybe a failure, it maybe a success, so just roll with it. This is coming from a person who worried so hard about things, (me). But worrying doesn't change the outcome. I have tested this theory by extreme worrying, and it doesn't work. Lol :)
 
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Gracey

Well-Known Member
What did you get right today?

Willing to bet money you had more going right than going wrong today.

Do your keys have rings on them?

Get into the habit of sticking your little finger through the ring and wearing the ring/keys on your fingers for the journey from the key safe to the lock and back to the safe again.
Even if multiple people distract you with multiple tasks on your journey and you forget you've got the keys.
You'll be reminded to hang them back up when they feel weird (and heavy) on your finger.
(works for me. I handle multiple sets daily. If I set them down or shove them in my pockets when distracted, I'm snookered)

You write of errors. Having to correct errors and mistakes that could cost the company money.

Are these errors in a specific area or stage of a process? Is there a pattern of regularity forming?
- which would only mean lack of knowledge or training. Nothing personal.

Anxiety is pants. Full stop.
Fizzing brains and panic mode I'm familiar with. I get sweaty forehead/wet fringe too. Even in this chilly weather. Highly embarrassing.

Have a look into cortisol. Primary stress hormone. Traces can be found in tears (after stress) so while you think you're crying because your eyes are leaking,
technically you are crying but may lack emotions of grief, sorrow, profound sadness?
Instead it may be body expelling cortisol after biggie stressor.

How high have you tied your tightrope?
You know, the one you walk across multiple times in any given day?
(metaphorically speaking)

How far will you fall if you don't make it across perfectly?
 

Outdated

I'm from the other end of the spectrum.
V.I.P Member
There's an unwritten rule of business called the 80/80 rule. It says that if you can please 80% of the customers 80% of the time then you are more successful than most.

This is also true in your personal life. We all make mistakes from time to time and it's hard to not get frustrated with yourself, and as you yourself mentioned, stress and anxiety only make mistakes more likely.

A tip I picked up from a fantasy novel - there's no point in punishing yourself, the world will do that for you soon enough.

It's good that you're talking to your bosses about this, the way you have described their responses says that they like your character, they like you as a person, this counts for a lot. A willingness to work with them and let them know when things are troubling you gives them more confidence in you.

Another suggestion is to make yourself a checklist, but not for the reason most people think:

The greatest way to learn something is to try and teach it to someone else. So you write down a checklist of how things are to be done, imagining that you are writing out instructions for a new trainee at the job. Someone as new as you were a month ago.

Writing things out in such a way really helps to organise things in your own mind and can give you insights that you wouldn't get otherwise. And if you don't like the idea of writing, consider it a penance for your stuff ups. :)
 

Raggamuffin

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
@Outdated I wrote up processes for each thing they showed me how to do. They loved them so much they've strarted doing their own for other processes.

As for how I'm getting on - I've been working really hard. I just take my mistakes very personally and it fuels my inner critic. I've calmed down now, but it's left me feeling exhausted to be honest.

Thing is - my self worth was on a high this week, as after I got my full month's pay I realised I had applied for this job at 23.5k a year (subject to experience), but my salary is over 30k. Clearly they value me as an employee, otherwise they wouldn't be paying me this much.

Unfortunately, it still wasn't enough to undo my doubts. Even though my tax code is correct, and accounts confirmed it was the right monthly amount - I'm still waiting for something to go wrong. I still don't think I'm worth what I'm being paid, and it's making these mistakes feel even more difficult.

But you're right. I shouldn't beat myself up about it. Eventually logic seeps in, and I take a step back from the emotions and realise what I'm doing, and the reality of the situation. Problem is - when the emotive response is instinctive, it doesn't matter when or where logic kicks in, the emotions have worng me out and I just feel more and more eroded.

Ed
 

Outdated

I'm from the other end of the spectrum.
V.I.P Member
I hope you still manage to get a good night's sleep.

There's no point in telling you to not overthink things, we all do it. But being able to step back and take a second look at the situation, like you have just done, is something many of us can't do. In this area you're in front.

But you've only been in the job a month, I expect your confidence will improve with familiarity.

You'll get there.
 

Misery

Photo-Negative
V.I.P Member
I feel like a god damn idiot.

First of all, you're not an idiot. Stop that.

In a situation like this, telling yourself things like that is the fastest way to just make it worse.

Even when things look dire, you gotta do the opposite... tell yourself that you CAN do it. And even if you lose... you get back up and say "I'll do better next time, no doubt about it" and push forward stubbornly. And then you do better next time... simple as that.

Something I've learned over time is that even when defeat seems absolutely 100% certain, if you simply keep going stubbornly, keep pushing no matter what, you might find yourself crossing that finish line anyway.

I know that "stay positive" sounds kinda cheesy sometimes, sounds a bit cliche, but I cant stress enough just how much of an effect it has.

I dont have too much to say beyond that (job stuff is outside of my understanding), but... yeah. I just wanted to say that. You really CAN do it. But it's up to you to believe it.
 

Rodafina

Hopefully Human
V.I.P Member
I don’t have any advice for you Ragamuffin, but I do have compassion for what you have described here.

My only thought that could possibly be constructive is to also remember your worth outside of work. For example, I think of you all the time now when I’ve had a stressful situation and I get in my car and stim like crazy. You described this in a post not long ago and it freed me to do the same. I didn’t understand a lot of this before, but something about your posts have made me feel really free and now I can get out some anxiety in a way that really works for me.

So, as you sort out your worries at work, please also remember your worth in the world and all the things that you do right.
 

WhitewaterWoman

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Here is one toolbox trick for getting out of the roiling discomfort you describe. (I’ve been there, too.)

One exercise is to say to yourself over and over, a million times over Here and Now, Here and Now, etc.etc. You shout it as loud as you can (internally, if necessary) until it drowns out the other stuff.

This is extremely difficult at first, but becomes easier with practice.

If you prefer, write it down, over and over again. 1000x over. Say it, sing it.

Once, when working in a hospital, I went home with the keys to the morgue. o_O
 

Aspychata

Serenity waves, beachy vibes
V.I.P Member
Finally is simply **** fake it until you make it***** advice.

This sounds like a good job for you by the way.
 

Fino

Alex
V.I.P Member
I've always had the same exact problem! It's terrifying! I'm so reluctant to get jobs because of it. I've managed to get all jobs where I'm not watched by a supervisor, I'm on my own. It's still possible to make mistakes, of course, but not as likely. But I don't make enough money.
 

Raggamuffin

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Thanks for all the replies and recommendations. I felt better after I'd had time to process it. Although the high anxiety and near panic attack left me riddled with aches, pains and symptoms that evening. I got some sleep (not enough) and feel better about it this morning. I returned the keys first thing. I'll use the recommendation @Gracey advised with regards to keeping the key ring on my finger so I can't forget to put them back. I'm also setting timer reminders on my computer to ensure I check the keys are returned.

I need to think up some checklists for jobs. I'd pondered it before and I'm not sure the best approach to use. But with time I will get more used to it.

@Rodafina I'm glad you could relate with regards to the stimming. After a day at work I have a burst energy that I have to release it somehow, and it comes out in mad waves of hyperactivity and stimming.

I tried explaining my techniques to remember the keys to my boss and he cut me off short, laughing, saying it was fine and not to worry about it. I get where he's coming from, but I know I need to check/double check to prevent these things happening as frequently as they do.

Ed
 

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