I was watching a Facebook Live this morning of a friend, and she was talking about the fear that holds many people back in life – the fear of making mistakes, or failing. We fear this because everything in our upbringing (for most people) steers us towards ‘doing things right’ and away from ‘making mistakes’.
What happens then is that people believe the making mistakes or failure is the opposite of success and so they go to great lengths to avoid the former.
The problem with that, as she rightly pointed out, is that making mistakes and/or failing is NOT the opposite of success – they are the steps and paths TO success. The opposite of success is doing nothing / giving up / staying safe.
At least when you DO something you have a chance of it succeeding. When you do nothing, those chances are reduced to…well…zero!
Oh, we are all very quick to judge others – and even quicker to judge ourselves, for the one thing we “did wrong”, the one “failure”, the one “mistake”. We rarely take time to celebrate all the many things that went well (including the mistakes).
There are 3 reasons you should celebrate your mistakes.
- Every time you make a mistake – you are learning what didn’t work and why, and that takes you one step closer to what does work.
- Making mistakes can lead to discoveries that you never would have made any other way – like Fleming leaving dirty Petri dishes when he went on holiday and coming back to discover penicillin
- Making mistakes means you are moving forward. You have allowed yourself to get out of your comfort zone and take action. You rock!
So – here’s my question to you.
How often do you sit down at the end of the day and write down everything that went well? Or even ONE thing that went well? How often do you give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done, or even just acknowledge that you got out of bed this morning and you DID stuff? When was the last time you planned a celebration to reward yourself for trying. Never mind achieving!
Hmmm. I thought so. No frickin’ often!
Here’s my tip on how to start celebrating more.
Every day for the next week (or the rest of your life!), write down everything you can think of that you tried hard to do that day, everything you are grateful for and everything that you finished. Include mistakes.
You might be thinking – how do I do that? Well let me give you some examples of how to replace the normal chatter. Stuff in brackets is your old ‘little voice’.
I drove the wrong way to my kids school this morning – (so I wasted 5 minutes) which meant we saw some shops I have never seen before.
I forgot my phone and had to go back (which usually would have annoyed me) and I didn’t beat myself up about it.
I dropped my tea on the floor (how stupid am I) which meant I cleaned the floor and found a quid under the sink.
In time you will be able to switch that round to positives first:-
I found a quid, because I spilt something and had to mop it up
I saw some shops I didn’t know were there, because I turned left at the wrong junction today.
And eventually – you can just focus on the positives:-
I found a quid / saw some new shops / controlled my temper.
When you take the time to look for the good in your life, it’s amazing what you find. And doing this as a daily habit will make a real difference to your self esteem and your picture of yourself and the world. When all you do is focus on what you missed then you miss a lot.
So – when are you going to start celebrating?
If you need an excuse to start, we would love you to join us The Find Your Why Annual Awards Dinner on March 2nd up in Yorkshire. Our very special guest will be the one and only Mr C (yes, you can see that he does actually exist!!!) 😍. Meet the man behind the woman and bribe him with a beer to find out why he lives in another country! Haha!
Book now to avoid missing this rare appearance.
See you there. And meanwhile – let me know how your daily celebrating goes.