"A man's errors are his portals of discovery." James Joyce
There Are Two Ways You Can Make a Mistake
- The Painful Approach and The Empowering Approach
The painful way to make a mistake which is used most often reduces creativity, growth and lowers self esteem. The empowering way, while it may require some practice to become a habit, it is a better strategy for your well-being and as a role model to children.
The Painful Approach
- Notice your mis-take
- Severely criticize yourself (after all, this was role modeled to you so must be right - mustn't it?)
- Feel guilt and shame (this is meant to prevent you from making further mistakes but doesn't usually work)
- Hide the mistake and don't tell anyone that you even tried
- Stay in fear of making another mistake
The Empowering Approach requires a N.A.C.C.C. (knack)
- Notice your great mistake
- Accept your mistake - as they are inevitable if you're living
- Congratulate yourself for giving it a go (It's so much easier to criticize others and do nothing)
- Be Curious about how it happened
- Consider what you could learn from your experience.(there is no failure only feedback)
Mistakes are worth it.
Staying in your comfort zone to avoid making a mistake could be holding you back from some great experiences and valuable learning. Look back into your past. Was it your biggest slip-up that gave you some of your greatest wisdom? Were some of your blunders in life the funniest moments?
Criticism is not a reason to avoid mistakes. Thomas Edison made thousands of mistakes before producing a long lasting light bulb. If he had discontinued because of his own or others criticism you may still be using candles. Listening to criticism gives you two problems your slip-up and lowering your self esteem.
Mis-takes are to be expected if you are growing, learning and moving forward. Babies don't try walking, repeatedly fall down and give up because it didn't work. When people learn to drive and crunch the gears, they don't give up and say "I am going to catch a bus for the rest of my life." Persevering through mistakes is empowering.
Mistakes are a part of life. How you handle them is up to you. Practice the empowering approach for a while and see how it feels. I think you will find it well worth the effort required to change this habit.