All of us make mistakes. It’s ok to make mistakes – they are a part of learning. It’s nearly impossible for the average mortal human to do something new without making a mistake. If you are not doing anything new, you are not learning, and if you are not learning, you are not living life to the full. And what is the point in that?
The fear of making a mistake can often prevent us trying something new, which is a shame. That fear can stop us doing something that could make us happy – or at least, happier.
It’s best to put it in context think “what’s the worst that can happen?”. The worst is usually not that bad, in the great scheme of things.
We tend to not be very accepting of mistakes, either made by ourselves or by others.
When we make a mistake, we will often berate ourselves. We have unrealistic expectations of ourselves – everything should be perfect, every time. That is never going to happen.
We can waste hours, days, and weeks of our lives fretting over things we have or have not done.
It is a waste because unless the mistake has long-lasting consequences – and very few do – it’s just not worth worrying about. Learn from it wherever appropriate – perhaps you would do it a different way next time, say something differently, or not do it at all – shrug, and move on.
A good way to overcome disappointment over a mistake is to use a couple of simple coaching techniques:
- Imagine yourself in the future – it could be a month, six months or a year down the line. What do you think of the mistake now? Chances are, you’ll have forgotten about it.
- Imagine talking to three people you respect (you don’t have to know them personally) about the mistake – getting other people’s perspectives, however imaginary, can be really helpful.
When others make a mistake, especially when it affects us, it can be frustrating or upsetting. Again, provided it is something insignificant (which can of course be relative) just move on. I see so many people getting their knickers in a twist or gloating over others’ mistakes. Get over it and focus on your own life.
Life is too short. This year’s events have helped me focus on what is really important – and that doesn’t include so many things that occupied my thoughts before.
Get out there and learn, have fun – make mistakes (as long as they don’t hurt you or other people, of course).