The power of mistakes
The power of mistakes
Mistakes… Failure… The things that nightmares are made of!
We live in constant agony that we’ll misstep or make the wrong decision therefore plunging our lives into ruin. And yet I find myself asking, what have I learnt from every success or every right move? The truth is that nowhere near as much as I’ve learnt from my supposed mistakes. That’s because mistakes and failures are an integral part of learning, yet they’re consistently met with shaming and castigation. We’re taught making mistakes is wrong even though EVERYONE, without exception, makes them. The shame that accompanies failure is such a harrowing experience.
So we end up internalizing this idea by not trying a lot of the time. Because by not trying we never fail, but we never succeed either. I wouldn’t be half the person I am today without having made ‘mistakes’ or ‘having failed’. It surprises me when people say to me, “If only you had left for the States earlier!”, “If only you had made this decision versus that decision.” IF ONLY. and I respond, then what? Would I have had success sooner? Are you sure about that? Would I have had my work ethic if I’d never had to fight for a chance? Would I have appreciated my current situation if I had never experienced anything else?
None of these things were truly ‘mistakes’ or ‘failures’, they were learning experiences. Things I wouldn’t change for anything. The problem is not my experiences, the problem is the faulty road-map given to us by society and as a society we judge based upon those imperfect ideas. That fear of judgement is what allows those ‘mistakes’ to shape our lives. It isn’t the mistake but the reaction we have to it that genuinely has some kind of effect on our lives. So you failed a test, what do you do? Accept defeat? Allow it to fulfill your limiting belief about your intelligence or your value? No! If that’s the way we lived our lives then humanity will eventually fall! These moments are opportunities to learn. Maybe it’s realizing that you need more study time, or that partying the night before is unwise. Regardless of what you learn, it’s something you can take with you and apply again.
We get lost in doing things the way we think we’re supposed to. One accomplishment leading into another until we reach completed success! The reality is we all come to success in different ways and the definitions of success vary from person to person. We have to let go of this concept of win or fail and enjoy the bloody journey! I have, and if only we could teach our future generations to see mistakes as part of this journey, as tools rather than shameful incidents. Imagine that. This is a possibility for all of us, a way to reprogram our settings and shed the blame and guilt we’ve all carried at some point. Conquering Life is about using the tools we come with, and it’s time we learnt that mistakes are just another tool.
So please go out and try! Make mistakes, make glorious mistakes! Just try to avoid things like murder and adultery, those aren’t quite the ‘mistakes’ I have in mind. What I mean is take a leap, try something new or something you’ve been putting off. Don’t live in fear of failure, because it’s just another bridge to cross in the journey of life.