“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” Neil Gaiman
Our egos drive us to believe that we must be perfect – that if we make mistakes, we should be ashamed or are failures. We do everything we can to avoid mistakes, or at least we avoid exposing our mistakes to others. At the same time, most of us recognize that we wouldn’t be the people we are today without our mistakes. While unpleasant, each of our past pains ultimately resulted in making us better or allowed us to grow stronger. We might even recognize that our mistakes turned out to be the biggest gifts of our life. Somehow, though, we still guard against doing things differently – most likely because we simply don’t want to feel the pain. But, if we aren’t making mistakes, we probably aren’t really living. We may feel safe where we are, but not pushing ourselves or even holding ourselves back means that we stay stuck. Indeed, how can we expect our lives to look different if we aren’t willing to go out there and try something new? Making mistakes means being bold. It means looking fear in the face and saying that you are going to try anyway. Too often, we look at our mistakes as a sign to give up, but mistakes are an opportunity to grow and know we are doing something important. Rather than shy away from mistakes, we might instead hope that our year is filled with them. Sure, we’ll feel ashamed or stupid, yet each time we overcome our mistakes, we allow our confidence and understanding to grow. We also empower others to take chances and serve as a light for others to go do things they’ve never done before.
Weekly Path to Peace: Hope you make mistakes.
- Look back to the mistakes that changed your life. Identify all the ways your mistakes were a gift, allowed you to grow or introduced you to something unexpected. Rather than beat yourself up for the things you have done wrong or where you have failed, let yourself see all the good things you have been able to do or achieve as a result of those mistakes.
- Where have you been holding back because you are afraid of making a mistake? Pick one new thing you can tackle this week. When faced with your fears, ask yourself how you can use this chance to learn something, push yourself, change yourself or change the world?