Focus on Experiences, Not Mistakes

How often do you make mistakes? If we are not actively seeking to make mistakes each day, we are not growing. It is easy to stay in a “safe” state, doing the things we are good at, staying around the same people, keeping the same job because it pays the bills. But is this really fulfilling us?

As we get older, we stop doing things out of fear. We don’t want to jump off the high diving board because we might do a belly flop and hurt our stomach, or more likely our pride. We don’t want to attend a seminar/church/school that aligns with our values because we would be in the minority and that might be uncomfortable. The list goes on. We decide…and I use the word decide purposely because we are killing off other options. Decide, just like suicide and genocide do not allow for other alternatives. There is no coming back. So, when we decide not to try new things as we get older or decide to never repeat an action because of one bad outcome, we are focusing on past mistakes and killing off our future. Instead of focusing on our mistakes, I am suggesting that we focus on our growth experiences.

Did you know the people we idolize because they appear polished made plenty of mistakes over the years? The difference between them and the average person is that they view their mistakes as growth experiences instead of brick walls. Instead of killing off future possibilities because of a couple mistakes, they view them as growth opportunities. They turn their mistakes into experiences so they can grow from them. Seeing mistakes in this light changes them from baggage to stepping stones. Instead of weighing us down and holding us in the past, they show us a new, brighter path. So the next time you find yourself coveting a job someone else has or feeling jealous of how well someone else speaks in public, just remember that they made years of mistakes to get to where they are. As Eddie Cantor once said, “It takes 20 years to make an overnight success.”

So the next time we have an option, let’s choose a growth experience instead of deciding to live in a downward spiral of our mistakes. After all, mistakes are actions that we performed, not who we are as human beings. Separating those two things is huge as we, as human beings, can make mistakes and still be the whole, perfect beings that we were created as. As Deepak Chopra states, “Whatever mistake you have made about who you are is temporary. Your true identity has remained untouched.” Now go experience life!