Ever made a mistake?

Have you ever made a mistake? I know I have. And not just one either. 

I’ve made HUNDREDS, probably THOUSANDS!

And you know what? I’m pretty proud of myself for that!

“Proud?!” I hear some people exclaim? “But you got something wrong – that’s nothing to be proud of!” 

Well actually, maybe it is, but most people don’t realise it yet…

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When I was growing up I was taught that making mistakes was definitely not OK. My parents wanted me to be a high achiever and any sort of mistakes were a big no-no leading to scorn, punishment or worse.

If you’re anything like me, I’m guessing your childhood was similar. Teachers at school would frown and huff at any mistakes in your work, give you “bad grades” and berate you for not doing everything perfectly.

I remember one time being told by my father that in the Japanese language there were no swear words. The worst thing you can say, he told me, is “I have made a mistake!”

Now whether that’s true or not, I really don’t know. But once again, it left an impression on me and hellbent on not angering my perfectionist parents, I tried very hard at school to get good grades and not make mistakes. 

I can see in hindsight that I held myself back from doing new things for fear of not getting it “right first time” or worse, getting it wrong and being humiliated for it. And sadly I know I’m not alone there. 

To this day I see people who really want to do or try something new, but who are too afraid of getting it wrong. As adults the stakes tend to be higher and if there are possible financial impications to our mistakes, such as losing money or ending up in debt, they are even more terrifiying to us. 

As a result too many people stay in “safe” situations where they aren’t really happy, but fear moving forward incase they… oh no! Make a mistake!

Oops sign

Working in a spiritual & holistic field, I do encounter a lot of people who say “It’s OK to make a mistake” but I often feel that in reality many of them are only paying lip service to the saying and don’t really understand it’s meaning.

For many people, it’s a way to reassuring others so they don’t feel so bad. To me that has always felt a little condescending, and perhaps demeaning in certain circumstances. We are not children and we don’t need a pat on the head!

So I’d like to stop  that once and for all. Because here’s the truth:

MISTAKES ARE BRILLIANT!

According to Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, mistakes are how the human brain is hardwired to LEARN! If you don’t make mistakes, you CANNOT learn or grow!

So from today I’d like you to completely reframe  mistakes in your mind.

Stop thinking that mistakes are bad to be avoided at all costs, and throw yourself into life, embrace making as many mistakes as you can!

Remember it took Thomas Edison over 1,000 attempts to make the lighbulb. If he had given up after his first “mistake” the world would not be as advanced as it is today.

Mistakes = Progress

Mistakes = Growth

Mistakes = Learning

Mistakes are GOOD! 

Don’t fear mistakes any more! Mistakes are your friends, your teachers and your trainers!

So get up off that couch and go out and try something new RIGHT NOW! And if you’re really lucky, you might even make a mistake!

4 Comments


  1. I hear you. The big word in my family of origin was ‘FAILURE’ … each time you made a ‘mistake’. Even now I cringe when I hear the word. ‘Allow yourself to forgive yourself for every imagined error and mistake you made.’ is a line I often use in my hypnotherapy. By clearing the mind of holding onto ‘mistake’ we move to accepting ‘adventure’ instead. I’m blessed to have a hubby who never makes mistakes…he’s helping me heal. Thank you for sharing your story Helen.

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  2. Love hearing about your childhood and how you’ve turned it around. I grew up hearing, “Perfectionism is overrated” but I was SEEING actions that spoke very different — and much louder — words. It was NOT okay to make a mistake in our house or *especially* in public. I’m still working on turning this around for myself, but most especially for my own kids. I like to remember Tony Robbins’ saying, “There are no failures, only outcomes – as long as I learn something, I’m succeeding.”

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  3. Beautiful post Helen and you are right on with this one! Mistakes, although not what we strive for, are in fact quite useful at assisting us in our evolution! <3

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  4. While I don’t like making mistakes, I don’t fear them as much as I used to for just the reason you describe. We can (and do) learn from our mistakes. Taking risks may be scary because you’re afraid to make a mistake, but it’s always good to be optimistic and realize something wonderful may result.
    Thanks.

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