Do you often make mistakes? Yes?
I know, me too.
Do you beat yourself up for days, sometimes for months? I used to re-live certain mistakes even years later, the pain and embarrassment of the whole scene making my temperature rise, my cheeks turn tomato red, and tears welling up in my eyes.
Until a few years ago, when I became a little wiser. Or maybe I had already made a few too many mistakes to care so much.
I had realized that only those who do nothing can be perfect (but obviously you don’t want to be that perfect, right?) I found that mistakes are part of the learning process and that they carry valuable lessons. They set you on a track of discovery and self-improvement, and if you give yourself forgiveness and permission, you’ll grow stronger than you could have ever imagined.
With this understanding, I also gained a more loving and forgiving acceptance of myself and others, as well as new confidence and trust in my own capacity and skills.
This change in perspective made it much easier for me to identify the lesson, correct the damage, limit the loss and move on. Instead of tearing myself down with self-criticism, I now learned how to recover, gain new insights and build myself stronger.
We owe ourselves to strive for continuous improvement, to make ourselves better and stronger human beings. We want to have high standards, to lead through personal excellence. At the same time, we acknowledge that we are walking the ever-changing path of life, meeting new people and venturing into the unknown quite often.
Mistakes are part of the process, where you aim for a target, and sometimes miss. You haven’t failed until you stopped trying, isn’t it? Improve your angle, focus better, and try again. Change your approach; sharpen your arrows and your spirit; try again. Change your bow for a more efficient one. Learn with a mentor. Keep trying intensely.
You will find yourself stronger, more competent and wise, skillful and confident. Most probably very near to your target, as well.
We often live with an unnecessary feeling of failure, because we forget to define our results clearly. We shoot randomly in an approximate direction, hoping to hit the mark. Chances are low, yet we rarely take the time to identify the exact desired outcomes.
Define your success and what it requires. Determine your finish line. Agree with yourself on what is your minimum acceptable result. Describe failure, so that it stops looming like a spectrum in the background.
Paying attention to other people’s experiences and learning from their mistakes can surely make your learning curve shorter and less painful. It saves you time and precious energy, as you don’t need to re-invent the wheel.
Continuous education and self-mastery is a duty and responsibility we have to ourselves, our loved ones and this world where we aim to make a lasting difference.
Live, love and work with passion, make mistakes, keep on trying and have no fear: everything happens for a reason!
About the Author
Alina Sukumaran is the passionate founding partner of the personal development platform POZITIVISTAS, with a mission to educate and inspire women to build strong character for joyful and confident life.