After all these years, I am still involved in the process of self-discovery. It’s better to explore life and make mistakes than to play it safe. Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.
Do you make mistakes?
We all do.
Some are better at owning their mistakes and learning from them.
Others flail their way to the highest position in the country and blame every last person around them for their mistakes because they can never see the flaws in themselves.
When I was very young, I was taught to own my mistakes. Be bold, take credit, and then learn from them and grow. How else would growth happen, if not for taking a risk, being wrong, seeing what happens and moving past that?
In the world of games, that is the key lesson. Games are played until a mistake is made, then the consequences of that mistake are reconciled and the game continues. Games teach us to take chances. The chances come with consequences. The consequences reinforce the need to be careful with the choices we make, and lessons are learned.
In life, it really is no difference. We pursue ideas and flights of fancy with everything we have, expecting outcomes of our choosing. When those outcomes are not forthcoming, we are put in a position of having to analyze why they are not forthcoming, and ask ourselves whether or not this is a path worth our continued effort, or whether we might be better served with an alternate option.
Mistakes take us by surprise because most often we are bullishly heading into a course of action which we believe to be smart, accurate and appropriate. The variables that led us to this choice gave us cause and reason to believe it was the right choice, we acted upon them and for whatever reason, we become acutely aware that we have erred. Right here is the moment of differentiation between people.
At the moment of realization that you are wrong, you face a series of uncomfortable choices….
- Continue as planned, and expect that you may still right the situation on the path on which you are traveling.
- Stop and regroup. Your progress may stop. The efforts you put in may have gone to waste, but you are minimizing your loss.
- Go into complete denial and start laying blame for your mistake on anything, person, circumstance, law, rule, or other variable that enables you to shirk the responsibility and live in a delusion that your continuous perfection would never make such a mistake.
Sophia says that mistakes are the dues one pays for a full life. I would have to agree. Many of the sages that preceded her, share the same thought. No risk, no reward, being the underlying truth to all of it.
I have made some mistakes that have taken me a couple of years to accept as my fault and perhaps even longer to finally forgive myself for. Sometimes things are happening faster than you may wish for them to transpire, and it feels like a train wreck in slow motion and you do not know how or where to extricate yourself from the carnage.
Regardless of the outcome, we are always left with one choice.
Will this mistake define the rest of my life? Will I leverage it into a lesson that catapults me into something more viable? Or will I continue to dance around with the same set of variables, expecting that it just will not repeat itself and hoping that the next time it will all work out properly.
Certain circumstances and relationships are very prone to the last outcome above. I have watched myself and others stay in a friendship or relationship in which certain variables come to pass, and we are so desirous of the continuation of the status quo, that we go into a brainwash and do it all over again, with expectation of a new outcome. Insanity defined.
I think in that regard, Winston Churchill summarized it best…. “We occasionally stumble over the truth but most of us pick ourselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.”
My advice… the next time you realize you have made a significant mistake. Stop. Take a deep breath. It will resolve. Recognize that you are human and fallible. Very fallible. Love yourself at that moment. Do not berate yourself. (Easier said than done!) Swallow your pride. (It is about to jump out and gob smack you without warning) and determine if you are well served to make a smarter next move.
Then dust yourself off, get back on your feet. Stand tall and proud. Love yourself for being you.
And do it even better the next time.