“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.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it”. ― Neil Gaiman
Hands up who’s comfortable making mistakes? No one? Me neither.
Making mistakes is rarely a cause for celebration. The shame that accompanies them can make you feel like the little kid who got it wrong in front of the whole class.
But what if you considered mistakes the way Neil Gaiman describes – as proof that you’re “pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world”? Not so negative now.
And he’s absolutely correct – mistakes are how we know we’re growing as human beings. Mistakes say we’re taking risks and navigating personal uncharted territory.
We just need to get more comfortable experiencing them.
As usual, it comes down to what we tell ourselves. When we make a mistake, we have a choice. We can surrender to the side of us that berates us and tells us we’re an idiot. Or we can connect to the part of us that says “well done, I’m proud of you, you’re growing”. Guess which one makes us feel better?
We make many “mistakes” on the road to recovery. They’re an important part of learning so let’s embrace them as indications of our evolution, rather than evidence of our defectiveness. That one tweak in our thinking can make all the difference.
So this year, instead of saying “Oh no, I made a mistake”, let’s say “Hell, yeah! I made a mistake!”, and have a very growthful 2019.