The Importance of Making Mistakes

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No-one likes to make mistakes. We feel embarrassed, sometimes to the point of cringing. When we were young, some of us were told, verbally or non-verbally, that it was not acceptable to make mistakes. That creates a huge burden on us ordinary people, because making mistakes is not only unavoidable but necessary. Some people responded unconsciously to this message by becoming perfectionists. The terrible thing about perfectionism is the time and life energy it wastes, trying to achieve the unachievable. And of course, in failing to achieve the impossible, we become discouraged. The fact is that without mistakes, there is no growth. This applies whether the mistake applies to choices we have made about work, money, dreams or love. The only real mistake is being so frozen with fear of making mistakes that we hide and take no risks at all. A useful strategy is to commit to letting go of perfectionism and resolve instead to commit to excellence. Excellence allows our best self to shine, while acknowledging that we will make mistakes. Excellence has a built-in latitude for mistakes. As we learn to forgive ourselves for our mistakes, to make amends where we can and then let go, our tolerance for the mistakes of others grows and we become more compassionate. In the end of the day, having a kinder heart for our own struggles and the struggles of others is what really matters.


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