Can you imagine what kind of a life that would be?
What would you do today if you never had to worry about making another mistake...ever again?
What risks would you take? How would you interact with others? What would you dare to do? What kinds of things could happen in your life?
This option is available to every single one of us!
You could start today, never making another mistake. Ever.
I don't know about you, but I can have some negative associations with mistakes from the past. I think of tests, stress, pass/fail scenarios, measurements of success, hurt feelings, regret, embarrassment, rejection, relationships that could have gone differently. It feels like a lot is on the line.
This sets me up to feel very hesitant, nervous, fearful, and hold back some of the best parts of myself to avoid making a mistake.
What if we just gave up the thought that mistakes make or break us? What if we saw mistakes as "attempts" in this journey called life?
Each time we try something new, we put ourselves at risk for things going other than we hoped. In order to grow, we need to continue to try new things.
When a doctor orders a test for a patient and it comes back negative, does she say, "Well, that was a mistake."?
No, she knows what direction NOT to go now, right?
Every time we interact with each other in genuine ways, we are risking the feeling of totally messing up. IF we are thinking this, we often feel fearful. WHEN we feel fearful, we often act in ways that decrease authenticity. When are not authentic, the result is relationships that are fake or feel disingenuous. In a world that needs connection, this is the last thing we need to do.
How do we begin to change our relationships to ones that have more authenticity? Or get up the courage to make a big decision? Or stop hesitating to move forward? Take the leap?
Stop making mistakes and make more attempts.
Each time something doesn't go how you would have liked, take a piece of paper and fold it in half. On the left side write: Didn't work, on the right side write: Worked well. Under each column, write down the things that you would like to try differently next time, and the things that you want to keep doing. Make sure the two columns match in size. Choose two things that you will try differently next time. Make each attempt mean something that helps you improve.
Can you remember the last time you dreaded a conversation and you walk into it, knowing it is going to end exactly the same way it did that last 14 (okay, 192) times? How does that feel? Does it bring any creative energy to try something different? We begin to feel helpless and hopeless to life this cycle until something outside of us changes. This is a really disempowering feeling. That feeling does not cause us to act in new and creative ways that gets a different result. Anger and fear kill creativity. We need to be the solution rather than waiting for it to happen outside of ourselves.
What do you think it would feel like to approach that conversation knowing you are going to try something new and get to see how that works out? And you will guaranteed learn something that will help you next time?
Next time that conversation comes, you can think, "Yes! I get a do-over!" and go for your list of what to try differently. After the conversation, do your list again.