I saw this post by Brene Brown that says, “The most powerful teaching moments are the ones where you screw up”. I instantly felt that I just had to blog about it because it is so true in my life.
I am unsure if you are the same way but I have learned FAR MORE from my mistakes than my successes. Learning things the hard way is one of my specialties and I have a feeling that I am not alone here. Are you with me?
From dating a few “bad boys”, trying to dye my own hair, or worse, letting a friend who was mad at me dye it. I’ve gone places I knew in my heart were not places I should go, I’ve said things that have hurt others unintentionally, I drank far too much, smoked even though I am asthmatic, I did cross-country running alone in the woods even though I have heart trouble, I’ve maxed out credit cards and messed up my credit rating that took me years to fix. I got married to a man who gave me every reason NOT to marry him but I assumed it would all just get better once we were married. When getting married didn’t fix everything? I had 3 kids. And no, that didn’t help either.
I can’t even begin to list all my mistakes here. Not even only the BIG ONES because it is impossible. You’d be asleep by #1836….. 😉
The tally is far higher for the smaller mistakes.
With many of the smaller ones, I often had to screw up 3, 4 or 5 times before finally learning my lesson.
But here is the part that I feel is the most important…
If we go through life and never make a mistake or try our best to avoid them all, I feel we are wasting a great deal of time and energy. If our energy goes in to being afraid of choosing the wrong item, the wrong paint colour, the wrong holiday destination, the wrong blog topic, the wrong friend to take on a road trip… oh so many possible mistakes in our every day. It could bog you down and keep you down VERY quickly.
So what if you make a mistake? Is that really so bad? Is making a mistake terrible enough to allow it to paralyze you from making any decision at all?
We all TRY to make good decisions but we are going to be wrong at times. I once chose a “rosy pink” paint colour for my bathroom and it turned out looking like a pink neon light had exploded in there. It actually glowed down the hallway. It was horrible! I will tell you something though. I learned during that experience that you need to test a smaller patch before doing the whole room AND if it looks really bad? It will NOT dry to a shade 12 times softer.
My first husband? HUGE MISTAKE. I mean seriously HUGE. He ran up our credit and I didn’t know it until it had reached over $23,000, he was addicted to porn, he was not at all good with our son so why I thought he’d be better with 2 more children is beyond me. He was abusive right from the day he got that ring on my finger but each time that I could have left? I stayed because I thought eventually I would figure out how to make him stop. Plus we fought like cats and dogs. Dear me… what a mess.
But you know what? I don’t regret it. Not even one bit.
I learned to be far more involved in money and banking decisions.
I found that having a man who was addicted to porn was as bad as having a man cheat on me. It did a HORRIBLE number on my self-esteem because I could never even imagine measuring up to those girls. In the process, I learned that I had more value than all that.
I realized that people are who they are and they are not going to get better because of marriage, children or for any other reason besides them making the personal decision to improve. I know that now and I do not blame myself for what other people choose to do or choose not to do with themselves.
I decided that I did not want to be in a relationship with a man (or anyone) where we fought. I learned to assess what was important and deal with that in a far more mature way than screaming, the silent treatment or “making him pay” for what he’d done. I also learned to walk away from anyone who treated me badly. It took me a long time to really get that lesson in my head because I allowed my mother to be abusive towards me for another 10 years but I did eventually learn. And now? No one… and I mean NO ONE will ever treat me that way again.
So what’s the point of this blog?
I think we should all make some really great, big, juicy, crazy, ridiculous, insane mistakes. Not on purpose of course but when it happens? Just get up, file that experience under “Lessons Learned” and make a better decision next time.
Don’t waste time beating yourself up over making a mistake no matter how obvious it “should” have been to you.
Try not to burden your soul by replaying your oopsy-daisy over and over in your head. Just move on and if you can? Laugh at yourself for the craziness of it all.
The people who do not allow for mistakes in their lives to show because they wish to appear perfect? Well, they are delusional or they are VERY good at hiding their misjudgments. It is impossible to be perfect so don’t fall for that perfect looking front.
If you do ever actually meet a perfect person? RUN AWAY. They are the most annoying people alive. 😉
Go easy on yourself. Allow for mistakes. Be proud of the lessons you learn and the maturity you continue to show as each year passes.
Thank the things you messed up the first time, the second time, the third, fourth, fifth…
I think I am going to dub this “Make a Mistake Day” so go ahead! Make a big one! Have some fun with it. Be sure to laugh at the end of it, grab the lesson to be learned and move on to your next mistake.
As an end note? No good story ever begins with “I did this thing perfectly the first time and boy was that ever fun!”. The really good stories usually start something like this… “You will not believe what I did! Oh my gosh, how stupid!” and then we all get to laugh.
I recall one time I was telling my teenagers about a mistake I made and they said “Well if you could do it, why can’t we?”. I told them not to be so lazy as to steal my mistakes. They need to go out and make their own! They need some really great stories to tell their own kids one day.
I’d love to hear some of your fantastically wonderful mistakes if you feel up to it. 🙂 We can all smile together and maybe even learn a lesson thanks to you. 🙂