As I go deeper into living an ageless lifestyle after 50, I care less about admitting things that don’t always go according to plan. Those things are commonly called mistakes. But what if they aren’t mistakes? What if they are really a way of grabbing your attention so you don’t miss an upcoming opportunity?
I like to think that my ageless spirit is just giving me a heads up when I make a mistake.
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In the past, I always had a difficult time admitting when I made a mistake. Now I’m going to share some very personal information with you, so be gentle with me. In the last few months, I’ve made a lot of mistakes. OK, I said it and the sky didn’t come crashing down around me.
Are you really comfortable admitting publicly that you make a lot of mistakes? You may be ok admitting to one now and then, but you probably don’t ever want to appear like you don’t know what you’re doing, right?
Well, I am now so comfortable with making mistakes that last week I posted a “Dumb Mistake Alert” in a Facebook group or high-level gurus and Internet Marketers. Once I realized the mistake I had made, my first thought was to save other people from doing the same.
Then as I was typing I wondered if they would really think I was an idiot. And a second later I hit the submit button. I just don’t care anymore. I was thinking more about how I would want someone to share that with me, so I had to share it.
Guess what? Nobody laughed at me. I think a couple people checked to see if they had done the same thing. And the owners of the program I made the mistake in are looking into making a change so there will be an alert to make sure what I did can’t happen. So it was all good.
Why beat yourself up over making mistakes?
Do you ever wonder if you’re beating yourself up a little too much? Are you crushing your ageless spirit by asking yourself to be almost perfect?
If you are any kind of perfectionist or control freak, maybe even a recovering control freak like me, you need to give yourself a break.
Would it make you feel better to know that if you’re growing and changing, you are going to make mistakes? If you’re stepping outside your comfort zone into unfamiliar territory, you are going to make mistakes. Don’t you think it’s unreasonable to expect to be doing many new things and not make mistakes? Chances are you are going to make some big ones.
You learned how to walk by making mistakes. You tried to stand and take a step and you fell. So you crawled a little more and got your courage up to try a few more steps. You fell backward. You fell forward. As a child, it never occurred to you to give up.
Don’t worry about mistakes
You didn’t worry about what other people would think if you didn’t do it right. You didn’t worry about looking foolish. As you went through this process over and over again, eventually you found your balance and you were able to walk across the room.
You then used the same process a few years later when you learned to ride a bike without training wheels. You needed support to learn the process of pedaling. Then you may have had a parent holding on to your bike for the first few times you tried to ride without the training wheels.
Do you remember what it felt like when your mom or dad let go and you were riding under your own power?
So when did things change? When did making mistakes become such a big deal? Making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process. They are where you find the opportunity for improvement and growth.
By making a mistake your attention is drawn to the area you still need more work on. By making a mistake, you have the opportunity to allow someone to help you or mentor you.
In the last few months, there have been several firsts in my life. As I’m doing all these new things, I’ve made mistakes. Each experience contained opportunities for lessons which I hope I have learned well. Only time will tell.
Admit your mistakes
I pride myself on being professional and part of that is being big enough to say, “I messed up, can you show me how to do this?”
I have to admit I have made a few mistakes where I wish I could pretend it never happened. I would say it differently or do it differently, but that’s part of the lesson. It’s part of the process.
So the next time you make a big mistake, instead of waking up the next morning and feeling foolish, hoping it will just go away or pulling the covers over your head, get up and do something about it.
Your ageless spirit is your inner child, with boundless energy, optimism, and hopefulness that everything will work out. Don’t crush that spirit by dwelling on mistakes. Look for the opportunity that is showing up because of it instead.
Don’t let this be a missed opportunity right now. Take action on what you just discovered about yourself and how you handle mistakes.
And next time you make a mistake…
Don’t let it eat away at you. If you need to apologize to someone, do it. If the mistake you made is correctable, correct it. Take responsibility for your mistakes and move forward.
The mistakes you make will always contain opportunities if you learn how to handle them. Don’t ever let a mistake stop you.
Allow yourself to be supported as you learn new processes. Don’t be afraid to fall down. Get up and try again. Use training wheels when you are starting out, get your balance and then take off and go. Remember, you are ageless.