I am half-cringing even as I write those words.
I think I speak for most people when I say that we don't like those words. They make us feel uncomfortable. They make us feel imperfect. They can even make us feel bad about ourselves.
If, and when they do, it's because we have fallen into a trap. Our first misstep was thinking that we were perfect and that there is something wrong with being imperfect or admitting that we're imperfect.
Our other foot lands right in the trap and dooms our fate when we attach our self-worth to the outcome of what we're doing. We struggle, we make mistakes, we fail. And all of a sudden we feel inadequate, we feel worthless and we feel like failures ourselves. We've let ourselves, and everybody else down. The self -talk is brutal, destructive and adds to the downward spiral.
Ughhh...Not a lot of fun. And it's enough to challenge your motivation for attempting to do this thing in the first place. (And if this pain and suffering is greater than your original motivation you may not only have lost this battle but it might also be the end of the war.)
Now let's see if we can re-frame how we look at and feel about those two words; Mistakes...and failures.
If we attempt to do something and we nail it on the first try then that thing hasn't changed us. If we were perfect at it to begin with, then it was already part of us...
It didn't challenge us.
It didn't change us.
We haven't grown because of it.
Net growth = ZERO.
But when we challenge ourselves, when we step outside of our comfort zone and try to stretch our limits into new territory, mistakes will be made. Failures are inevitable.
As a matter of fact, (and here's the payoff):
Mistakes and failures are PROOF that you've challenged yourself, PROOF that you had the courage to put yourself out there and PROOF that you were brave enough to try something when the outcome was uncertain.
So if you're trying to get better at something, or if you're claiming to be in pursuit of greatness, of something epic, of chasing your dream, then you better have the mistakes and failures to prove it.
Thank you for reading,