Mistakes… Failures… The things that nightmares are made of! We live in constant agony that we’ll misstep or make the wrong decision and therefore plunging our lives into ruin. And yet we find ourselves asking: what have we learnt from every success or every right move? The truth is that nowhere near as much as we’ve learnt from our 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 eliminate the possibility of failing, but we never succeed either. We wouldn’t be half the person are today without having made ‘mistakes’ or ‘having failed’. It’s amusing to hear people say: “If only I had done that earlier!”, or “If only I had made this decision versus that decision.”, IF ONLY. Then what? Would they have succeeded sooner? Are they sure about that? Would they have had their work ethic if they’d never had to fight for a chance? Would they have appreciated their current situation if they had never experienced anything else?
None of these things were truly ‘mistakes’ or ‘failures’, they were learning experiences. Things they shouldn’t wish to change for anything. The problem is not their experiences, the problem is the faulty road-map given to them by society and as a society our judgments are based upon those imperfect ideas.
Fear of judgement is what allows those ‘mistakes’ to shape our lives. It isn’t the mistake but the reaction we have to them that genuinely has some kind of effect on our lives. So we failed a test, what do we do? Accept defeat? Allow it to fulfill our limiting belief about our intelligence levels or our value? No! If that’s the way we live our lives then humanity will eventually fall!
These moments are opportunities to learn, our stepping stones. 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 complete 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 journey! We need to 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 have and it’s time we learnt that mistakes are just another tool.
So please go out and try! Make mistakes, make glorious mistakes! 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.