How can we learn from our mistakes?

Mistakes happen, that is something we find out at a very young age and continue to have reinforced for the remainder of our lives. While many people fear them, really mistakes should be considered a natural part of the creative process and journey of discovery. When we take the time to analyze the cause of them, they can provide us with insights that allow for improvement, positive change and/or compassion & empathy. In some cases, we are beginning our understanding of the subject matter or skills required and just need more time to master the steps.

In other cases, when we would typically be accurate and the system or the procedure is not flawed, a mistake can reveal that we are distracted, thinking about someone we care about or worried about external factors that seem out of our control, so we make a simple ‘human’ error. These type of mistakes point to the need for time off and intentional selfcare. Other times mistakes point us to the need to develop a more efficient protocol, for more training or practice time, or perhaps an entirely different approach. Taking the time to see the mistake for the messenger that it is, can lead us to a solution or remedy to prevent it from continuing to occur.

Realistically, we cannot totally avoid making mistakes, which is why my philosophy about them is opportunistic.

What is most critical about how we deal with a mistake, is to embrace it as an opportunity to learn. If we can then share that wisdom with others to prevent replicating that same mistake or at the very least, validate someone else's experience and give them permission to 'be human' and make mistakes too. Allowing yourself to be seen as vulnerable, grants others permission to feel the same way and can allow for more compassion, authenticity, and personal freedom.

When we can learn from a mistake and grow from it, it becomes a valuable function of discovery and an invaluable part of the creative journey. Some failures provide more insights to how a system works than a simple ‘pass’ would– by understanding what won’t work, we get closer to understanding what will. We continue to be taught by Life as we grow, become more resilient, wiser, stronger, and more capable due to the missteps and mistakes we have made.

The best mistakes or ‘happy accidents’ are opportunities to celebrate new discoveries.

Errors whether tactical or personal, require honest assessment and are not typically made any more successful or resolved any quicker by simply assigning blame. Beating yourself up, living with regrets or holding on to anger and resentment only thwart your Spiritual growth and can reek havoc on your emotional and physical well being. Mistakes require a healthy dose of patience and forgiveness. Mistakes can shed light on new paths and can reveal areas that need our attention. Mistakes can be steppingstones and don’t necessary mean you’ve reached a dead end, they can provide a place for reflection, recalibration and renewed purpose.

Keep having fun with your journey of discovery & remember the words of inventor Thomas Edison: “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.”

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