Mistakes can be daunting. They are one of the ways that we have to face our humanness and our human-mess.
When your self-esteem is all wrapped up in not ever making mistakes or letting people find out you’ve messed up, it can be very fragile and unstable. Living from this contracted, secretive place will suck the energy right out of you. And then who’s going to have the energy to really take on the things that matter?
I love this quote by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis! It goes right to the heart of things – are you willing to try? Can you fall down and not lose your passion – your motivation – your determination?
Yesterday I cancelled a pretty expensive subscription to an email marketing site. I had signed up in the heat of a conference, in the throes of ‘I can do anything and this will help me!’ Unfortunately, after a month of trying to get the functions going, I was depleted and frustrated. I won’t say the product didn’t work, but I had made a mistake in getting it without enough careful consideration of my situation and how ready I was.
What I’m really proud of is this: instead of pulling out a baseball bat and crying over the money I’d spent, I decided to really stand tall in my entrepreneur shoes, cop to the fact that things weren’t working for me and let go. No heavy punching about ‘why aren’t I big enough yet?’ And no ‘Wow, that was a really dumb decision!’
Entrepreneurs make lots of mistakes when they’re stretching to grow. It’s just part of the path. If you want to walk this path, it’s good to bring along a big dose of loving kindness for yourself. Stuff like, “It’s cool that you were willing to try this bigger product, and someday soon, you will be ready.” And “Good job noticing what was going on, what you were feeling and taking action to correct things quickly.”
When you’re the Boss of You, it helps a lot to be a really great one. You do your own reviews. You give yourself a wink and a smile when you see yourself being fluid and flexible. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, but instead of shrinking at the idea of a mistake, you pay attention, learn something, and move forward towards the bigger goal.
What about you? How are you handling mistakes? What stories are you telling yourself? Do you feel the loving kindness that gives permission to be human? How we do anything is how we do everything. I’d love to hear what’s happening in your world – business or personal. Are you trying? What are you learning? That’s what really interests me.