When I was a kid, we had a big hill in our alley. Most of the kids in my neighborhood loved this hill. It was a bike rider’s dream. Kids would hop on their bikes, get a running start, and then rush down the hill. They’d repeat this over and over, racing faster downhill every time. And then there was me. I’d carefully snap on my helmet and slowly walk to the end of our driveway. Without fail, I’d look around for some other way to get to the bottom of the hill to meet my friends. I was petrified to race down the hill. I imagined all of the things that could go wrong, all the mistakes I might make. For most of my childhood, I inched down that hill, with my hands tightly gripping the brake. All I could see were mistakes waiting to happen.
Fast forward 20 years, and sometimes I still feel like that kid at the top of the hill, scared of the mistakes I might make. About a year ago, I realized just how paralyzing this fear of making mistakes was for me. It was keeping me from trying and taking risks. It was keeping me from chasing my dreams. To be honest, it was keeping me from growing. So I made a commitment to be more courageous and start taking risks. I gave myself permission to try new things, and I told myself that I was going to make mistakes.
And you know what? I made mistakes. I messed up. But I learned a ton. Most importantly, I learned that making mistakes isn’t just ok; it’s essential. In today’s video, I’m sharing five reasons you should make more mistakes. Plus, I’m sharing how you can enter to win a free, ONE YEAR subscription to Headspace. Let’s go!
Making mistakes increases your number of successes, because you’re swinging the bat more. I’m going with a baseball metaphor here. The more you swing the bat, the more hits you’re likely to get. This is a numbers game. You can’t hit a home run without the chance of striking out. Swing anyway.
You’ll learn that your fears and anxiety are not always the truth. Fear can be pretty convincing. It wants you to believe that you can’t. Can’t manage, can’t cope, can’t try. Fear exists because we often believe that our thoughts are the truth. Rarely is this the case, and there is no greater way to learn this than to make mistakes.
You’ll learn that mistake isn’t as bad as you thought. One of my fears about getting on a bike was that I’d crash. It hadn’t ever happened, but I was convinced that if it did, it would be the end of me. So last year, when I got back on my bike as an adult, I made the mistake I was most afraid of. I fell off my bike. And as you heard in the video, it was pretty embarrassing. But here’s the thing. After it was over, I realized it wasn’t as bad as I thought. And I never would have known that if I wouldn’t have made the mistake I was so afraid to make.
You’ll learn something from your mistake. It sounds cliché, but it’s true. Every mistake presents an opportunity for growth. Your mistake will teach you what doesn’t work, and this helps you figure out what does work. Remember, there is opportunity for growth in every mistake, failure, or misstep. So make a mistake and learn something.
You will work out your coping skills muscles. Overcoming fear, picking yourself up, and tolerating distress…these are transferrable skills. Making them in one area of your life gives you great experience to translate to another area. Getting back on a bike and making mistakes might seem small and silly, but it translates to the rest of my life. It’s given me the courage to open my own practice, try new activities, and make new friends. Every time you make a mistake and flex your coping skills muscles, those muscles get stronger all around.
So there you have it, 5 reasons you should make more mistakes. When you choose to play it safe, you miss out on so much goodness. What goodness are you missing out on because you’re too afraid to make mistakes?
Important reminder. This video includes all the information for the HUGE Headspace giveaway I’m hosting. One viewer can win a FREE year-long subscription to the Headspace app! This is my way of saying “thanks” for reading and watching. Get all the details in the video above.
PS: If you enjoyed this post, check out this one as well!