Written by Tamika L. Cole.
When we make a mistake we tend to feel embarrassed, stupid, or even frustrated. We feel as if we somehow should have known better, even if that is impossible. Why can’t we move on without berating ourselves? It’s time for a new perspective. Mistakes aren’t failures, that’s right I said it! Mistakes are actually just little steps towards success.
Mistakes are stepping stones to the experiences necessary for growth and understanding. You ever read a “Great” autobiography all about a perfect person? NO, why? It would be a giant snooze fest! (zzzzz) BORING. These stories are chalked full of embarrassing moments with a few successes sprinkled in between. The mistakes are the stairs that lead us to become the best version of ourselves.
We can learn from them. No, I don’t mean by constantly playing it over and over again in our heads, while we punish ourselves hoping this time it will stick. No! What I mean is we can take this as an opportunity to view it in kindness, appreciate the experience and embrace the chance to seek a different outcome next time.
Connection. Our common thread. It’s the connecting force of our experiences, the things we share in order to find common ground. It joins us and bonds are strengthen. Have you ever felt nervous at a new job and did something wrong? Which makes you feel better? The person training you says “Oh, don’t worry that happened to me as well” or “Wow, what an idiot.” The latter quickly separates and creates comparison, while the first unites and releases tension. These common experiences make us feel like we’re not alone. There are other people going through what we’re going through and that’s a great feeling. Isn’t it? The truth is we really aren’t alone and if we allow ourselves to share our short comings, more of us would know that.
Opportunity, some of the greatest inventions are born out of mistakes. Take penicillin for just one example. We are not often pushed to the limitless-ness of our imagination until something goes wrong. Without having made that mistake, we never would have met that person or had that connection or been at that right place at that right time.
It’s time we stop punishing ourselves for every little thing we do and start looking at ourselves with kindness and understanding. Let’s change our perspective.
Be kind and don’t judge yourself so harshly.