Mistakes are our friends! (Gag.)

Mistakes are no fun -- just valuable.

Last week I mentioned a YouTuber who did an entire video on the value of making mistakes. As I said then, I’m pretty sure he intended this message for me.

All of us, if we’re honest, acknowledge that we’ve learned valuable lessons from our mistakes. Most of us, if we’re honest, also acknowledge how much we hated learning these lessons, because they usually came with a hefty helping of emotional angst. Disappointment, frustration, embarrassment…any or all of these can – and typically do – go hand in hand with screw-ups.

Not being masochistic, the average entrepreneur is naturally interested in avoiding these negative emotional consequences. Unfortunately, you can’t avoid the consequences without avoiding the mistakes. And you typically can’t avoid mistakes without also avoiding the lessons you’ll need for future success.

Damn.

In the past, I’ve had a particular challenge in being okay with mistakes, because I somehow decided long ago that mistakes are “not okay,” and therefore are something to be avoided.

However, I see a light at the end of the tunnel – and it’s not an oncoming freight train. Instead, it’s an observation made in a program by clinical hypnotherapist Dr. Steve G. Jones. Here’s a paraphrase of what he says about powering through despite mistakes.

This reminds me of the attitude some sales professionals have when it comes to hearing “no.” They know their no-to-yes ratio, i.e., the number of “no”s they get before getting a “yes.” This knowledge enables them to actually welcome negative responses. It’s as if they’ve checked off a necessary item from the To Do list, knowing that when the last item (“no”) is checked off, they’ll hit the proverbial “yes” jackpot.

So as we wind down one year and approach another, I commit to:

How about you? Are you also ready to “fail” faster so you can succeed faster? Would you benefit from having a “celebrate the mistakes” accountability buddy? (I have Tuesdays and Fridays open for this… ☺)

Share some of your best mistake-spawned successes below!

(BTW, thanks to Peta Hopkins for posting the mistakes image in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.)

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2 Responses to Mistakes are our friends! (Gag.)

  1. Hi Kath,
    The best lesson I learned about “mistakes” is when I started writing resumes professionally. For some time, I had viewed my prior careers in media and marketing as false starts, mistakes, and wrong paths. Suddenly, in my new career, I was using everything I’d ever learned in every job I’d ever had. All those mistakes had been preparation. So, although I have the same mistake phobia you suffer from, now I try to look at my mistakes that way, just preparation for the next good thing. Glad you are, too!
    ~Jeri

    • Kathleen Mavity Kathleen Mavity says:

      Wow…that’s a really powerful spin on screw-ups. Are you okay if I steal that from you? It feels so much more purposeful than “learning something.” 🙂

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