Does the fear of making a mistake stress you out? Or just maybe you feel compelled to color within the lines? For most of us, when we set out to do something, whatever it may be, we’re usually very intent on doing it right in order to not make any mistakes. But keeping that mindset can actually get in the way of succeeding. When we try very hard for things to go a certain way and force ourselves to work within specific guidelines, what we’re doing essentially is limiting our creativity and our ability to grow. Being afraid of making mistakes can cause our thinking to become stifled. And when this happens, we refrain from taking risks. So if you’re looking to take your life to the next level, then holding back in this way is not going to support the process.
Overall, our society tends to view mistakes in a negative light and this contributes to our own fears around failing. However, if you are not willing to make mistakes then most likely you are not trying anything new. And then what are you really learning? If you want to progress, it’s important to learn how to put a positive spin on them. Consider for a moment, the mindset of one of the great inventors, Thomas Edison. Edison believed that there was no such thing as mistakes as long as you were able to learn from them. And he should know, since it took him over 10,000 times to figure out the proper filament for the light bulb.
Therefore, in order to change your perspective, you must be willing to consciously choose what you focus on. After all, if you’re constantly thinking of trying not to make mistakes, guess what usually happens? You wind up making a mistake. Instead, bring your attention to what you’re really looking to create in the moment and this will give mistakes less power and importance. Release the need to do it right, or for that matter perfectly. Just be willing to do it. Open up to all the possibilities for adventure and allow yourself the freedom to think outside of the box. Mistakes may, or may not be made. But this time you can view them as signposts that you are stretching yourself and growing; and therefore, use them as tools for learning.
You can try out this new way of thinking by applying it to a task that you are working on this week. Since you’re experimenting here, a small action rather than a big one will do fine. But whatever you choose, just allow yourself the ability to NOT do it perfectly. In fact, feel free to “mess up” in order to be okay with feeling this new experience. Have fun with it and let your creativity soar!
And now, I’ll leave you with these quotes to ponder…
Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.
~ Oscar Wilde
A mistake is simply another way of doing things.
~ Katharine Graham