Most of us were brought up believing mistakes were bad things that happen to good people. At school, if you made mistakes you got grades less than A’s and you were quickly judged as a lesser of a student. At home, as a teenager, if I hung out with the “wrong” boy for me, (not that the term “wrong” was ever defined) I would get reprimanded and …very very grounded. At work, when we make a mistake, for the most part, we are looked upon as…”What is wrong with you?” Society overall frowns upon mistakes.
Isn’t a test a great tool to measure skill or knowledge? How else would we know what’s next on the agenda of learning/becoming?…agree? And if we don’t date the “wrong” ones, where did …you have to kiss many frogs to find a prince… come from?
If we didn’t make any mistakes, what would that tell us about ourselves? Not much, right? Other than we’re either too afraid to try something new or we have decided we’re done learning. Both not so good places to be, for that’s how stuckness begins.
Why then, is making a mistake a bad thing and something to be punished for?
Now think about this…
Think of babies for a moment…(we all were there at one point) did we worry if we made a mistake or what people thought of us? No, instead we fell, we got up, we fell and we got up again until we eventually figured out how to walk. Trial and error are part of our process of learning.
So, why is it different now?
It’s in our programming. Receiving a negative reward, being punished or being ridiculed for making a mistake taught us to judge ourselves as well as others and to not want to try.
We stop making an effort and here’s the problem…
Confidence is gone out of the window. True self-confidence is about having the courage to try, irrelevant to the outcome. I made many mistakes, some of them so BIG that caused me to lose money and even break my heart.
However, those BIG MISTAKES were the BEST GIFTS I could have given myself. I believe, if it wasn’t for my mistakes -all of them, I wouldn’t have become who I am today. I wouldn’t be where I am today, experiencing the level of happiness and success I am blessed with.
So, if making mistakes is the human way to actualize our tremendous potential and the way to get to our success, wouldn’t you like to drop your old beliefs and judgments about your mistakes?
And if you are nodding “yes” as you’re reading this, I ask you:
Are you willing to drop the shame and blame you have associated with your making mistakes throughout the years, so you can break free of guilt and move forward?
Yes?! Awesome. Not, for anything but as human beings we make plenty of them, thank goodness.
Stop thinking of mistakes as a bad thing and look at them as opportunities to grow.
Did you make a mistake? Cool beans, that means you tried your best today. Next step, get to your pot of gold: Your Lesson. What did the mistake teach you? What did you learn?
Keep learning. Keep growing and expanding.
As always remember, you were born to be happy. Think outside the box and stay outside the box!