Making mistakes is an inherent part of being a human being. Regardless of how hard you try, there is always the possibility that you will make a mistake.
Perhaps you missed an appointment or a meeting because you mixed up the days on your calendar. Maybe you sent out a mass email only to find numerous typos in it. Or you thought you packed your child a sweater on a cold day only to find out that you forgot. These examples of mistakes are so common that if we heard about them regularly, we would probably be a lot kinder to ourselves when we make them.
What we can do is learn to give ourselves full permission to make mistakes. By giving yourself permission to do this, you can start living for yourself.
A mistake is defined as “an action, decision, or judgment that produces an unwanted or unintentional result.”
Often, when we make a mistake, our initial reaction is to get upset with ourselves. Maybe you feel frustrated, sad, disappointed, anxious, or tense. It could be that you feel fear, worried that you’re one step away from total failure.
If you have ever made a mistake on something that matters to you, you’ve likely felt one or several of these emotions. If you’re feeling these negative emotions toward yourself and the mistakes you make, it’s no wonder why we are so scared to make them.
But making mistakes doesn’t have to be an entirely negative experience. Note the two keywords in the definition of mistake are unwanted and unintentional. That means that regardless of the mistake you’ve made, it was a human error. It’s impossible to be perfect all the time. Mistakes come with the journey of life; if we aren’t making them, then we aren’t growing, changing, or living life to our fullest.
Part of living a fulfilling life is striving, growing, and improving our skills and knowledge. If we want to be successful in any area of our lives, we must go beyond our comfort zones. That means mistakes will happen. But that’s also where we grow and learn.
According to a blog on Prolific Living, there is something we can do to ease the negative emotions that come with a mistake.
You give yourself full permission. Permission to fail, permission to be wrong, and permission to make mistakes. Allow yourself to be human.
When we are gentle with ourselves and remember that mistakes are part of the process, we can remove our unhealthy, negative feelings toward ourselves. Instead, come from a place of curiosity and find a lesson in the mistake. The more you pause and reflect on a mistake from a place of kindness and self-acceptance, the more successful and happier you’ll be.
So ask yourself, what would you do differently next time?
Many people struggle with giving themselves full permission to make mistakes. Often, these types of people have something called a “super trait.” These people tend to be the type of person who will put everyone first because it’s in their nature to do so. It’s easier to make other people’s lives easier.
The need to take care of everyone else can be beneficial when there is an equal effort toward yourself and prioritizing your self-care. For example, maybe you’re doing all the chores at home so your partner can get extra rest. It could be that you’re taking all the extra work at the office because you were asked to, even though you’re exhausted and overwhelmed. It’s a great super trait to have, but you will burn out if you fail to use it on yourself by putting your needs first, such as delegating tasks to others or setting boundaries to prioritize yourself.
I know that giving yourself full permission to make mistakes is a process. You can take small steps right now to help ease into the idea and put it into practice.
- Let go of the need for approval. When you stop seeking external permission from others, you no longer allow yourself to be judged by them. This takes away much of the pressure and helps you feel empowered to make decisions.
- Permission to say ‘no.’ One of the healthiest things you can do for yourself is learning to say ‘no’ to the things that do not serve us and make us feel good. Set boundaries and prioritize taking care of yourself, just like you take care of everyone else.
- Permission to trust yourself. You know what makes you happy and feels good and what doesn’t. Allowing yourself to slow down and consider your needs will allow you to learn what you need to learn and grow.
- Permission to fail. As discussed earlier, journeys are not linear. Allow yourself to try, stumble, start over, learn, grow, and realize what doesn’t work for you.
Making mistakes is okay, but only if you give yourself full permission. Remind yourself that the only person who expects you to be perfect is you, so manage your own expectations and goals based on what you can accomplish instead of what you wish you could achieve.
If you’d like to work together on giving yourself full permission to make mistakes, get in touch with me now.