Count Your - Mistakes?
Updated: Dec 16, 2020
How terribly ironic? I spent the entire week struggling over what to write for my Sunday night blog drop. I changed the subject no short of 5 times. I couldn't find a picture to convey my message quickly. Once I had finally decided to write about mistakes from a new perspective, I quickly jotted down my brilliant ideas I had in the shower and felt pretty good about what just needed a bit of refinement to complete. That was Thursday night. All weekend I thought about blogging, but never got around to it. And though I woke up Sunday with every intention of just spending 20 minutes finishing off what was a great start, I did nothing productive. I'll restate: I was extremely productive eating, watching Netflix, reading and working on the puzzle. Finally, at 10:30pm, technically past my own personal Sunday blogging deadline, I went back to my blog with new energy, ready to complete it and just get to bed.
And then I made a huge mistake.
While trying to adjust the picture, I ended up deleting the whole damn thing. All of the text I had thrown in that just needed refinement, along with my picture - gone. There is no UNDO button for the blog portion of this website creator. (I may write them about that.....but I digress.)
A blog that I wanted to write about taking mistakes in stride and coping with them better put me to task to use my coaching on myself. Ugh! *#&$&*^%. I do NOT want to write this thing again. But I guess I'll summarize what my original, completely awesome original post communicated. Or at least I'll try.
First of all, mistakes happen. No matter the amount of preparation or careful stepping, mistakes are made. Small ones, like that spilled milk we are never supposed to cry about, and big ones, like saying something during a heated argument that can't ever be taken back. Mistakes are a part of life.
And because mistakes are a part of life, we shouldn't be so fearful of making them that we don't take risks and don't try. I get it. I don't ever want to feel embarrassed in public because of a mistake. I don't want to regret a choice I made and look back at it knowing I made the wrong one. I don't want to feel my cheeks redden when I forget a line on stage. I certainly don't want to rewrite a blog post. But if we can accept that mistakes happen as a part of a life lived doing and experiencing, than maybe we can stop fearing them.
Why should we fear a mistake when we know that above all else, the mistake actually helped us? In the moment, making a mistake can really hurt. But if we play the long game, that mistake can lead to a variety of wonderful things - like insight. Like growth. Like self-care. Like change. Every mistake made is an opportunity to try it again. Or an opportunity to just rejoice in having made it through.
Mistakes count because it means you are standing up and being counted. Making a mistake is courageous because it means you tried. Making lots of mistakes means you found a whole lot of ways to NOT do something. That's pretty valuable, too. And mistakes can be the most meaningful when you stop reliving what "could have been" and start focusing on "what will be" when you try again.
Losing my blog post is a minor mistake. That doesn't mean it lacks all of the standard markers of total frustration. And it doesn't mean I haven't used it as an opportunity to learn something new about myself, and my process. My mistake here - one of many in a long series that I'm proud to detail - is my responsibility to myself to move forward and be better next time. To acknowledge my own power to do better. To congratulate myself on trying in the first place. Mistakes count when we use them the right way. So get started and count up those mistakes. You'll be better for it.