On Mistakes

(Image: canva.com)

Face it, you’re going to make a mess of it. You’re going to screw it up. We all do. Whatever “it” is, we make mistakes. Many of them.

What matters is not that you’ve made them, or even how many you’ve made.

It’s what happens next that matters most.

There’s an argument saying “if you’re not making mistakes, you’re not trying hard enough.”

Put another way, the only way not to make mistakes is to continually play it safe, never push boundaries, and always do only what you’ve successfully done before.

That’s not how growth happens. That’s not how change happens. That’s not how progress happens.

And yet it’s exceptionally common to be fearful of making mistakes, almost to the point of paralysis. Society loves to point the finger at errors and shame those who make them. The result is we’re afraid to make mistakes.

We’re afraid to try harder, make change, learn new things.

The cost of failure, as I often call it, is too psychologically high. Even if the literal cost of failure is next to nothing.

What matters is not that we make mistakes, we all make mistakes. There’s no such thing as an error-free life.

What matters is what we do with the mistake. Do we learn from it? Great! Do we make the same mistake over and over? Not so great.

Let’s not make those mistakes again.

Let’s make new ones instead.

That’s learning. That’s progress. That’s growth.

Make it OK to make mistakes and learn from them. We’ll all be better for it.