“You screwed up! Big or small? It doesn’t matter. We all make mistakes. The big question is what to do when you do make a mistake? How do you keep going?
Okay, this won’t be the first time you heard this. You are human. Humans make mistakes. That is what we do. That is how we learn. From our earliest moment we are screwing up and it is informing us and teaching us.
BUT since we went to school we hate messing up. We hated those red marks on our tests. We were told everything we did wrong. SO we developed an aversion to it. We developed a fear for making mistakes.
We responded out of sorts. We don’t like it. We are afraid of it and feel bad when we screw up.
Stop Focusing On Mistakes
If we focus on what we don’t want we get more of what we don’t want. If we spend time worrying about making mistakes it is more likely we will make them.
If we think ‘don’t screw up’ it is not any different than telling a child ‘don’t spill your mill’. You know what happens when we do that.
Focus On What You Do Well
You have to live fearlessly and expect the best. You need to plan for success and not let mistakes bother you so much. You are so much more than your occasional screw up.
You do more things right than you do wrong. Celebrate that! Embrace this! Accept it! You do plenty of things well and quite well.
How We Learn
As a child you learned to roll over, sit up, crawl and eventually walk by making more movements than were necessary. These movements were way off base. They weren’t at all close to what you need to balance or move forward easily.
When you learned to feed yourself you repeatedly missed your mouth with the spoon getting food all over the place and yourself. You made movements way off base.
You never thought to call them mistakes. They were! They were necessary for you to eventually hone your skills and get the food in your mouth. They were necessary for balance, movement, navigation.
These are called Unwanted Parasitic Movements. Name sounds horrible but you needed to learn how to stop doing them in order to get the spoon to your mouth, for you to sit up, crawl and walk.
They were absolutely required. They were larger than necessary, not even closed to the refined movements you learned to make because of them. It is like coloring outside the lines. You went outside the lines while learning to color inside the lines.
You learned to eliminate all that was unnecessary in order to refine and perform these skills. You got rid of these unwanted parasitic movements to smoothly navigate the spoon to your mouth.
It was all done through repetition. It was all learning. It was all ‘not that way but this way’ when it came to aiming your arm and hand to your mouth.
When you watch an infant sit notice how much it moves as it is learning to sit comfortably still. The infant is learning to balance from all these extraneous movements.
Good thing you couldn’t talk or think about it as you do now, you’d have quit after the first or second try, starved to death and would not be reading this blog.
Accept Mistakes As Part Of Being Human
Mistakes are part of evolving, growing, developing. If you deny making them or get caught up in thinking about them, over thinking about them or worrying about them you will only be miserable.
You will stagnate and prevent yourself from learning valuable lessons. You will make it tougher on yourself. Pat yourself on the back when you make a mistake and say to yourself, ‘You did the best you could. Better luck next time’.
Realize we all make them and they are a part of life. Embrace yourself, forgive yourself. Embrace your mistakes, forgive yourself for making them. It is absolutely ok.
Yes, there may be consequences and you may need to make restitution for your mistakes that should be understood. That is part of the process.
Don’t shirk your responsibility when a mistake affects others. Ask forgiveness do what you can to rectify it. Be positive and proactive. Do not let it ruin you. Make good on it and get over it.
Mistakes Make You More Attractive
People like people more who are able to forgive themselves and admit their mistakes. It actually makes them more attractive. There is the story of a popular television entertainer who was supposed to run up a flight of stairs during his TV special.
He stumbled and fell. The producers said, ‘don’t worry we can edit it out’. He said ‘leave it in’. He understood that it would make him more human and that the audience would feel for and pull for him seeing him falter but continue to go on. And he was right!
Happy people know this inside. They know that making a mistake is actually a learning experience and an opportunity. Since we all make them and it is probable we will continue to make them the best approach seems to be relaxed acceptance.
Don’t get bent out of shape. Keep moving forward. The more you can celebrate mistakes the less the sting. When you are able to embrace and accept, acknowledge, learn and move on your life takes on a much more wonderful quality.
When you give yourself permission to screw up or fail it takes the sting out of it. You will find yourself hurting less and feeling better more frequently. Attitude is important. It makes all the difference in the world. Keep on making mistakes and keep on learning and growing!” Rex Sikes
Have a wonderful day!
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