Mistakes are a horrible thing, aren’t they? They cause us to doubt ourselves and our capabilities, and in one way or another they poison the very foundations of our self-esteem. You almost have to freeze time to really ask yourself, what the hell are you beating yourself up for?
There are the mistakes where we give our all to something, yet our efforts aren’t enough, and there are the mistakes where certain paths are simply not meant to be. Both of them are discouraging, but rather then have then kick your stability into the ground see them for what they are: learning experiences.
The mistakes we can’t control
Some mistakes are simply beyond our control. No matter what efforts we make, certain things are simply not meant to be. It sucks, it’s unfair, but hey, that’s life and its precious violin playing.
There is a saying from one of my favorite songs that says:
You can’t regret what you don’t decide.
What you don’t have sole control over that can be changed from things outside of your control, you can only house so much regret about it. When you can honestly say to yourself that you did everything in your power to make something succeed, from there all you can do is accept the fact that you didn’t have the power to make it work. This is commonly affiliated with:
work, relationships, challenging projects and deadlines, and just about anything that is hobby/recreationally related.
There can be an incredible stem of relief when one takes the time to truly recognize what they really have power over. Its helps divide the amount of blame one can place on things simply not working out, versus not working out because they didn’t care enough.
The mistakes we can control
The fact is, mistakes are something that exist, like it or not. We are all prone to mistakes, it is human nature. The way things are handled after a mistake says a lot about a person and their values.
When someone makes a mistake and takes the time to truly look it over and consider what went wrong, and what they could have done better, there is truly no better tool for learning. We learn the most from our mistakes, after all, how much is three to learn if things are going exactly as intended?
When mistakes are made and dismissed as though they were freak-accidents, that is when you have someone that lets the emotional turmoil of mistakes build and evolve. This is the person you seem committed to a looney bin because they let all the regret and failures build inside until it hits a breaking point, then it’s off to the twinkie farm.
Either way, the point here is ownership, the ability to not only recognize a mistake, but to own it and analyze it.
The concept of pride
Pride is the ultimate fuel to a mistake, we all want to feel like we did all we could to help something succeed, the fact is sometimes we fall short. Sometimes emotions get the best of us and we shut down. We don’t want to admit it, we don’t want to feel it, but it is the truth, like it or not.
Owning the fact that we screwed up is tough, but it’s human nature.
Another perspective of pride is the pride involved with a corporation or business of sorts. Businesses structure their foundations so that pride can be kept on a short leash, think about it:
On a business level pride is essentially shunned, bandwagons are encouraged, and its carefully laid out as a structure of players and pawns. The key leaders have a lot of responsibilities and ultimately answer to the higher levels of command for any failure that should arise, meanwhile the pawns of the business are places around specific routines, keeping responsibility limited, and the opportunity for too much pride to get involved at a bare minimum.
Sure, there is plenty of room to feel good about doing the job well, but in the same circumstance there are enough restrictive boundaries in place to prevent employees from letting pride get the best of them. There is no telling how far one will go to hear “Great job”, after all.
Expectations are dangerous
We have all encountered that feeling of wanting something so bad that we would do anything for it, and that right there is the step from normal to insane. Expectations are dangerous, the moment that you take something that you would “like” to achieve and relabel it a “need” it’s almost instantaneous the amount of stress that picks up with it.
Expectations are dangerous.
Setting ideals that you would like to achieve is a great way to arrange goals and give yourself something to work for, just understand the great difference between wanting something, and feeling like it has to happen. The amount of needs one truly has inside of a life-time is far less colorful then it is painted out to be on a daily basis.
Needs and mistakes ultimately play off one another, they grant the largest opportunity for one to learn about life and re-evaluate the structures they have build that define their values and cares. There is so much one can learn about themselves when it is viewed from the appropriate angle.
Take the time to use mistakes as learning foundations, take the time to truly consider what your needs are, what your hopes are, and find the happy balance in-between that lets you live with a clear conscience.
Life isn’t about everything that we need, it’s about recognizing the values that matter most, learning from our greatest mistakes, and knowing at heart that we are living in a way we can be proud of.