I adore people who are willing to make mistakes because those are artists, creators, entrepreneurs, inventors, explorers, conquerors, and people who get to the end of their lives feeling like they have been here. Let’s look at some of the benefit of making mistakes.
Making Mindful Mistakes Lead to Growth
You can’t grow or create without moving beyond your present boundaries or knowledge. When you hit the boundaries of what you know, uncertainty is created. You have a choice to stay where you are or make a new move. If you choose something new, it’s not always the most effective solution. So what? The knowledge you gain from having made that choice now goes into your data bank. You can use it to make other decisions in the future.
For example, let’s say I want to make an omelet for the first time. I go through the process and discover that my filling was cold and the omelet itself was watery. I retrace my steps and realize that I’d have had better results if I had precooked the filling and either not used items that create water under heat or drained the water off first. Now I not only have more information about how to create a better omelet, I also have information that can be applied to cooking in general. All from cooking one omelet!
Mistakes Create Safety
Nobody can live 100% in their safety zone. Some try in order to stay safe, but which is more comfortable? A small box or a large one? When you learn new things, expose yourself to new ideas, and have more experiences to draw upon, you create a bigger comfort box. So growth and expanding your horizons actually creates more safety in the long run than staying with what you know. Another way of looking at this is that it reduces fear.
For example, let’s say that I really want a corporate job, but am scared to actually do it because I don’t know how to dress for it. I could say in my comfort zone and stay small or I could learn as I go. Learning as I go will eventually give me confidence that I can move in corporate circles as well as the environment I came from. It not only becomes one less thing I am afraid of, it is also no longer a barrier to going on to bigger and better things in the corporate world.
Some people feel ashamed when they make mistakes. They stay in that place and want to give up so that they don’t feel it again. That attitude keeps you paralyzed and stunts your growth. The more effective thing to do is to forgive yourself and grow past it. If you do that enough, you start to see that mistakes aren’t really that big of a deal and maybe you don’t have to even feel shame in the first place. When someone else makes a mistake, forgiveness is easy for them as well.
Making Mistakes Helps You to Live Without Regret
How can you have regret if you at least attempt to do what you want to do? How do you have regret if you forgive yourself for your less than successful attempts? It’s hard to have regret when you go for it. The fear of making mistakes can help you create a life of “coulda, shoulda, woulda.”
Making Mistakes Builds Confidence and Competence
People with a fixed mindset believe that they are born with talents and traits. Fate is predetermined. If things don’t come easily, they don’t tend to try. People with a growth mindset know that they can learn whatever they want to learn given enough time and good instruction. And so they go for it. Each attempt gives them feedback. They use that feedback to make successive attempts more accurate or successful. As each goal is achieved, it creates confidence and competence. They are more likely to take on new things, become leaders, and also become more understanding of others.
Making mistakes and admitting mistakes is hard for some people. Don’t let it be for you. It’s really not that big of a deal. You will succeed far more than you think you will. When you do make a mistake, it’s rarely going to be the earth shattering type. Sometimes your mistakes may even be beneficial. To quote Cicero, “We must not say every mistake is a foolish one.” So go for it. Don’t let your fear of making mistakes stand in the way of your dreams.