30 Days of Gratitude: Bonus Prompt 1: Mistakes

We all make mistakes. They are a part of life. It is impossible to be perfect and without mistakes how would we learn.

Mistakes are an ingrained part of life. We learn from them almost from the moment we are born. If we touch a hot stove and hurt our hand we learn not to do that again. How we react to mistakes, learn from them and our willingness to not be afraid to make them can shape the person we are.

The most successful people take chances because they are not afraid to make mistakes. For someone with anxiety or a fear of something that can often be difficult and something that can hold them back from success.

The fear of failure prevents us from taking a chance on doing what it takes to succeed. That ultimately leads to the same result of trying, making a mistake and failing. If we are constantly afraid of making a mistake we don’t learn the steps necessary to avoid making mistakes and doing what it takes to succeed.

Most of the most successful people have attempted things and failed. Michael Jordan was famously cut from his sophomore basketball team in high school. In the game before his legendary shot against the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1989 to clinch a five-game series for the Bulls, Jordan missed free throws that would have won game four and made game five unnecessary.

The Missoulian Newspaper spoke with Singer/performer Aimee Mann about mistakes and she said:

“I didn’t know anybody who doesn’t repeat their mistakes…I wrote a song with John Roderick, ‘Poor Judge,’ about heading back into something and making the same mistake again. You realize that this is what people do to get through their lives: ‘I’m going to do the same thing, but more of it.’ ‘I’m going to try harder to do the same thing that didn’t work the last time.’

“You use the same brain to think your way out of the same problem. Your brain doesn’t have any new info to think it through differently. How do you get the new information? You get perspective from other people, but you also have to be willing to listen to it. Most people really aren’t. ‘Tell me what you think, and I promise not to get mad at what you say.’ What they really want to hear is, ‘It’s not your problem, it’s them.’ If it’s ‘them,’ there is no solution. If it’s at least partially about you, there’s at least hope for change.”

It’s often said the toughest thing is to self-identify a problem. Mann is correct that the hardest thing to do is to get information to get out of the problem. The old unattributed quote that says “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got”.

Learning the correct information and coping mechanisms to avoid making the same mistakes continually is what will help us get past making the same mistakes over and over again.

The reality is that new we will make new mistakes. The important thing is to learn from each mistake and why we made them. That is how we learn and grow as individuals.


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