A Mistake is just a Mistake

A Mistake is just a Mistake

I was playing jacks with my son the other day and each time he got out he said, “I’m so bad.” After hearing it the fourth time I said to him, “No you’re not. You just got out. What does making a mistake and getting out have to do with being bad?”

I thought to myself aloud no wonder we grow up and are so afraid to make mistakes. We tell ourselves we are bad or others tell us we stink and we somehow make an illusory connection between making a mistake or “messing up” and defining ourselves as bad or stinky.

I’m not sure if he understood what I said, but the next time he “messed up” he didn’t say anything.

Imagine if making a mistake was just that…a mistake. No self condemnation needed. No need to defend ourselves. No need to prove our self worth. It begins and ends with the mistake and then we move on to clean it up, set it right or accept the outcome as is.

Imagine if we didn’t make it mean anything about ourselves just because we made a mistake. If we didn’t spend time worrying what others will think or how this will affect my future, we would have a lot more time and space to live our lives.

Mistakes allow us to grow and learn if we don’t innocently constrict ourselves with fearful thinking. We don’t have to be afraid to make mistakes when we don’t make them mean anything about our self worth. Our innate resilience will guide us perfectly out of any perceived mistake if we let it.

Ride The Wave

By Aviva Barnett, MSW

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