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Many of us do not fulfil our potential because we’re scared of making mistakes, finds a new study.

According to a Nyenrode Business University and IE University survey of 1,000 people, one out of two people think they could perform better if they were not worrying about making mistakes.

Interestingly, 46% of women worried 20-40% of the time compared to 33% of men, indicating that women worry more than men. These numbers increase even more if we look at younger higher educated professionals.

Participants were asked whether they would be able to perform better at work if they were less worried about making mistakes. Overall about 47% of peoples said ‘yes’ to this question. However, this figure rose to 60-70% for younger higher educated professionals.

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Professor Nick van Dam, commented, “Employees only perform well in new positions if they have enough self-confidence and aren’t afraid of making mistakes. We actually learn the most from our mistakes after all. If we don’t feel confident, we tend to avoid speaking up, don’t give feedback to senior people, don’t ask for feedback ourselves and won’t even think about a promotion.

“In a more extreme case, we might suffer from burnout because we spend so much time worrying. Essentially, we’re not the best version of ourselves.”

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