Making mistakes is fascinating. Is there another issue that is so common and normal yet loathsome to most people?
The average person struggles through life trying to get the most out of each day. In spite of goal-setting efforts and positive morning rituals, all of us make mistakes and fall short of our best intention from time to me. We all make mistakes!
But do we need to be unhappy because of our mistakes?
Look at the psychological set up most of us endure:
There’s no way to:
- Avoid making mistakes
- Learn something new without making mistakes
- Respect yourself if you can’t accept your mistakes
And yet, when we make mistakes, we routinely:
- Criticize or hate ourselves, as if mistakes should never happen
- Feel humiliated or less than
- Blame others
The very idea that we could make a mistake:
- Causes fear and sometimes panic
- Inspires performance anxiety (and….mistakes)
- Keeps us awake at night
What a scam! Right?
Mistakes are 100% normal, necessary, and unavoidable. Yet, we loathe mistakes as if they were a death sentence.
But mistakes could be a death sentence, couldn’t they?
Making a mistake while driving on the highway could be deadly indeed. Short of death, look at this guy! He blew an opportunity with the Beatles! Talk about career death.
But should we live in fear of such a mistake? Wouldn’t remaining calm and focused be safer?
But let’s put such awful mistakes aside and focus on what to say to yourself when you make an average mistake.
Here are 10 things to say to yourself when you make mistakes:
- I made an innocent mistake.
- I’m a normal person who just did a normal thing.
- What’s the opportunity here?
- What is there for me to learn from this?
- I’ll deal with the mistake without making it worse by criticizing myself.
- What would I say to someone I like who made this same mistake?
- Woohoo! I’m human!
- There’s another way not to do it!
- I have just proven that I am not a god.
- What would ________ do right now?
And there we have the 10 things to say to yourself when you make a mistake! So what? You will definitely NOT be using these gems unless you FIRST make a tiny bit of space in your mind for mistakes.
Like — accepting yourself as a less-than-perfect person who is ALLOWED to make mistakes.