Why should you learn how to make mistakes, dear reader?
Because there is absolutely no avoiding them in life. You will, without a doubt make many of them, no matter how successful you become. Trying to dodge them is a waste of your time and energy – it is better to simply learn how to handle them gracefully.
“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” – Oprah Winfrey
Making mistakes or not making them isn’t the point, however. It really doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you understand how to use them, how to not get stuck on them, and how to respond to them in the best way possible.
First of all, realize that absolutely everyone makes mistakes and if someone is judging you harshly for being imperfect that is more about them than it is about you. It’s important to admit our mistakes without getting defensive, and sincerely apologize to people for the consequences of them if necessary, but beyond that excessive blame and dwelling is not helpful.
In a turning point of the movie The Shawshank Redemption, one prisoner, Red comes to this point where he is able to admit his mistakes and find the inner strength to realize that while yes, he made those mistakes, he will never be able to go back and change the past:
I know what you think it means. Me,
I think it’s a made-up word, a poli-
tician’s word. A word so young fellas
like you can wear a suit and tie and
have a job. What do you really want
to know? Am I sorry for what I did?
Not a day goes by I don’t feel
regret, and not because I’m in here
or because you think I should. I
look back on myself the way I
was…stupid kid who did that
terrible crime…wish I could talk
sense to him. Tell him how things
are. But I can’t. That kid’s long
gone, this old man is all that’s
left, and I have to live with that.
Rehabilitated? That’s a bullshit
word, so you just go on ahead and
stamp that form there, sonny, and
stop wasting my damn time. Truth
is, I don’t give a shit.
Of course, your mistakes are probably not that extreme, but the point remains. A lot of times, the mistakes people can’t move on from are the mistakes they knew were mistakes when they made them. It doesn’t matter. You regain your independence from the mistake when you stop trying to hide from it, when you stop denying it. Plainly admitting it and really understanding that there is nothing to feel self-conscious or lesser about once you do that is what sets you free.
Second, it’s important to not use your mistakes as an excuse to why you can’t accomplish what you want and be who you want in life. And no matter what sort of mistake you may have made, it is exactly that – an excuse.
You need to switch your frame of mind to understand that mistakes are normal.
They are normal because you do not know everything, and you never will know everything. Sometimes people are wrongly influenced by those around them and become blind to the fact that the direction they are going isn’t a good one. As long as there is something you don’t yet understand, there’s a good chance that you will try and experiment and sometimes choose incorrectly. The key is to be honest with yourself and admit when it is you’ve done so, so that you aren’t stuck in the same pattern indefinitely.