The mistakes we make

Einstein.jpg
If Albert Einstein can say that making mistakes is ok, then he must be right. Einstein was a clever man, much cleverer than me and, (probably) you.

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).

mumturnedmom
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22 thoughts on “The mistakes we make

  1. deskmonkeymummy says:

    Yes, it’s extremely easy to become overwhelmed by a mistake and learning to take a step back and put things in perspective is a great skill to have (not one that I personally am very good with). Great post with useful techniques. X

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  2. Karen bell says:

    Very interesting. I admit I do tend to worry about mistakes, even though I know it’s usually rather silly, but for some reason I often can’t just forget about it, though I know you are right, life is too short, I should just move on. #PoCoLo

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  3. Sara (@mumturnedmom) says:

    I do like your advice of imagining yourself in the future, life really is too short to worry about the small stuff that isn’t important in the great scheme of things and putting yourself weeks down the line can remind you of what’s actually important. And, equally, we shouldn’t be afraid of making mistakes, as John says, get on and live life. Thanks for sharing this great post with #ThePrompt x

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    • Leigh Kendall says:

      I learned that technique when I was training to be a performance coach – it can be really effective, and hope it helps folks gain a different perspective. Thanks for reading and commenting. xxx

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  4. thenthefunbegan says:

    We definitely learn by our mistakes Leigh. It’s all a part of life as you say and it gives colour and perspective to who we are year on year. That’s why I think it is important to let children make mistakes and not try and bundle them up in cotton wool and take every decision out of their hands the way some people seem to. Interesting post. X #theprompt

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    • Leigh Kendall says:

      Great point about children – helping them learn from mistakes rather than preventing them making them in the first place can help them grow in to well-rounded grown-ups more ready to make their own decisions. Thanks for commenting xxx

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  5. Mummy Tries says:

    Another fab piece Leigh! It’s often only through stepping away from the ‘mistake’ and allowing ourselves the time to get over it that we can see it for what it really is and learn our lessons. Nothing is a mistake as long as we learn something from it xxx #ThePrompt

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  6. Michelle Payne-Gale says:

    Brilliant post Leigh, and so true. We can get so easily caught up sometimes, giving tiny things huge shadows. Mistakes show we’re trying new things and stepping out of our comfort zones. Realising and remembering that life is short is a great motivator, and quite liberating in a way.

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