Mistakes happen. Some small ones, some really enormous ones. We all make them. We are far from perfect, and that’s okay. It is part of the human condition. There is absolutely nothing wrong with making mistakes, in spite of what society tells you.
However, you must learn from your mistakes. They are mistakes only if you don’t learn anything from them. They can be turned into life-changing lessons when you review them and learn from them.
But let us be clear on what a mistake actually is. According to the dictionary, it is “an act or judgement that is misguided or wrong.” With that in mind, if you do it once or perhaps even twice then it can be deemed a mistake. But if you do it repeatedly then its a habit. Its a pattern – not a mistake. Don’t fool yourself.
We get stuck in certain patterns and comfort zones and end up making the same mistakes over and over. This is where your review and learning kicks in. Every mistake can be an opportunity to learn something, either about yourself, the situation or the world at large.
Every time you realise you have made a mistake or are made to realise, genuinely reflect upon it and ask yourself:
- What led to this?
- Could this have been avoided? If so, then how?
- Did I make this mistake unconsciously, without even thinking about it (being on autopilot)?
- Was it just carelessness?
- Was it a lack of planning?
- Was it some unchecked anxiety or pressure?
There could be a multitude of reasons for your particular mistake but you should know it otherwise you are bound to repeat it. On the flip side though, making mistakes is an important element of growth. Growth as a person, family, community or even as a nation or species.
History is full of elaborate and grand mistakes by many of the most famous people. It is important to remember that those who do not make mistakes, or at least pretend that they don’t, very seldom try something new in their lives.
Many times we avoid taking any action because we are afraid to make a mistake for fear of failure or being judged because, well let’s face it, making mistakes is considered bad. Don’t worry too much about failure and mistakes, be thrilled about the opportunity of experiencing something new. Expanding your horizons and becoming more.
Stop focusing so much on what could go wrong, be excited about the possibility of things going right and getting exactly what you wanted.