One of the things that holds us back most is the fear of making a mistake. We don’t want to do anyone wrong, harm ourselves or others, embarrass ourselves or expose ourselves to the judgment of others. And that’s what a mistake is - it’s when something didn’t go according to plan and it led to an unintended negative consequence.
Mistakes are closely connected to our behaviors, meaning they’re things that you did or didn’t do. We made the wrong decision, said something the wrong way, interpreted a situation incorrectly, or whatever else it might be. These bundle into real behaviors and actions that you would have preferred to have gone differently.
But on the other side of the coin, we know that our behaviors and actions are the drivers of change in our lives. So if we’re too afraid to take new actions, while it may help us avoid making mistakes in the short-term it often leads to larger, much more difficult to fix mistakes in the long run.
With that in mind I’d like us to shift our relationships with making mistakes. What if mistakes were just ‘miss takes’? Just like the takes of a movie, what if all making a mistake means that we have another opportunity to try again?
Behaviors don’t exist in isolation. They’re all connected and linked to each other. And sure, there are certain behaviors and actions that are irreversible when done… But that doesn’t mean that the end result is permanent. You can make up for mistakes, apologize, get creative, do something differently, or otherwise reconcile the situation to produce a new result.
Making mistakes is part of the process. No one is immune to it, everyone makes mistakes. But I’ve found that the people who are more willing to put themselves out there and do something wrong are also the happiest, most successful, most achieving, and most fulfilled.
Life would be so boring if all we did were things that we knew how to do perfectly. Life is a learning experience and as we learn, there are going to be errors along the way. The more we allow ourselves to embrace the mindset that mistakes are okay, they’re just ‘missed takes’, then we give ourselves permission to do things differently (and get different outcomes).
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