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Making the Most of Mistakes

There are some days where nothing seems to go your way. You messed up some crucial paperwork or your car got stuck in mud or you missed your daughter’s dance class because of some other life emergency. Little things can gradually build up and overwhelm us over time, and sometimes we like nothing better to do than to curl up in a comfy dressing gown with a pair of fuzzy slippers on and watch a film.

However there are those of us who simply cannot forget the bad times of the day. When you find yourself focusing on the bad points in your day, particularly the mistakes you have made, this is when you need to take a step back. If you continue to let little things bother you, they will stick in your mind and you will find yourself becoming more and more worried every day.

A build up of stress and anxiety can start having lasting physical problems as well as taking its toll on your mental and emotional help. We all make mistakes; it is a part of being human. However there is a stigma associated with the connection between making mistakes and ‘failing." Here are a few tips for how to handle mistakes and live a healthier life.

Making mistakes does not mean you are a failure

It may be hard to believe, but just because you find something hard to do, or you struggle to be 100 percent perfect or even 10 percent perfect, that does not make you a failure as a human being. Mistakes are the paving stones to the future, they allow us to build on past experiences and emerge as more knowledgeable, rounded people.

Mistakes are preparation for life

Just think, if you never make a mistake, you’ll never know what to do in extreme circumstances. Personally I have a lot of experience with the London underground because of the sheer number of times I missed a stop and had to work my way around it. You’ll learn from doing, and because you know that this particular method doesn’t work, you can take that experience and build on it.

Mistakes do not define you

Surprisingly enough, people get suspicious if you don’t make mistakes. Mishaps and accidents and misunderstandings are all a part of human nature, so people will naturally assume that there is something ‘wrong’ with you even if you appear to do everything perfectly right on the first try.

Likewise do not be disheartened if it seems like your colleagues or classmates are frequently pointing out your shortcomings instead of your achievements. It may not seem like it but they do care about you and want to see you do well. Most of the time they’re not quite sure how to express this so it often comes across as criticism.

All it takes is a little perspective. Many if not all scientific discoveries came from accidents or mistakes and some of today’s most successful entrepreneurs are where they are today because of the mistakes they made in life. The difference is purely whether you choose to allow your mistakes to overwhelm you, or you use them as a stepladder to reach your true potential. In the end it is all up to you.


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If you are in crisis, call 988 to talk with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, text HOME to 741741 to connect to a free crisis counselor, or go to your nearest emergency room.