Our $15K Mistake - Why We Need to Reframe the Way We View Mistakes
May 31, 2018
Mistakes, much like failures, share the same scandalous reputation.
We don’t want a bar of it. Whether we deny it ever happened, conceal it from our friends and family or hang our heads in shame as we reveal all, the outcome is often met with internal criticism and feelings of unworthiness.
What we need to recognise is that mistakes are nuggets of wisdom that we can either choose to discard or deposit into our knowledge bank for all that it's worth.
If we want to truly absorb the value attached to it, we need to reframe the way we view mistakes and understand its worth, so that we’re not burdened with the fear of making or handling them. Instead, we can accept them and reap the benefits. All of them.
“You’re going to make mistakes in life. It’s what you do after that counts.” - Brandi Chastain
Wisdom for the taking
Consider the lessons you’ve learned over the years that have put you on the path that you’re on right now. How did you learn to make better choices?
Knowledge and self-awareness are pretty common contributors, and it’s likely that thiswisdom grew from your prior mistakes.
If we look at it in this way, then every mistake is an opportunity to learn, grow and evolve into the best version of ourselves.
With every mistake, we are blessed with the chance to learn more about ourselves - about our strengths and weaknesses - about what we are truly capable of - about what we like and what we don’t like.
Ultimately, it’s not about the mistake itself, it’s about the learning curve and how we respond in the aftermath that matters.
The aftermath is a place to connect with ourselves, exercise vulnerability and showcase our most honest and authentic selves.
Become more compassionate
It’s easy to love ourselves and fist pump in celebration when everything is going to plan - when we’re ticking off to-do’s and kicking goals.
When shit hits the fan due to a poor judgment call, exercising compassion isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind.
Most of the time, our inner critic races to the front of our mind, ready to crush our self-worth and self-esteem.
The thing is, we have a choice. We can choose to listen to the devil on our shoulder or we can use this opportunity to practise self-love and compassion in that moment and recognise that we are only human.
There is no place for perfectionism in the real world.
This is a powerful reminder because it allows us to adjust how we react when those around us make mistakes. Instead of harsh criticisms or looks of disappointment, we can respond with empathy.
“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” -George Bernard Shaw
Congrats on living
Mistakes are an example of forward motion. It means that we’re living and taking purposeful action in our lives, instead of playing it safe on the couch.
Not making mistakes - allowing that inherent fear to rule our actions will only amount to more regret - a debt that simply can’t be repaid in this lifetime.
Our $15K mistake
We must have proofed our designs about a hundred times before we approved and submitted it for print.
The initial package, containing a few copies of Curation 2018 arrived about a month before the entire batch. Fresh off the press!
The current of excitement running through me was on par with the excitement I felt on the day we decided to follow through with our mission.
I ripped open the packaging, the adrenaline coursing through my veins, only for this childlike excitement to be replaced with a heart-deflating, stomach-swirling sensation of OH SHIT!!
The spine text was upside down...
We invested $15K and got a questionable spine in return. Cool.
I called our printer immediately, all the while trying to keep my drama queen in check, but it was too late to fix this mistake.
I went to the local bookstore later that day and scanned the shelves, searching for a spine with text running from bottom to top. There were two or three books, published in France or Germany (I can't remember).
It turns out, if we were in France (where our designer lives) or Germany, we would have been fine because titles are actually written bottom to top. It's the accepted way. Everywhere else - not so much.
We just had to deal with it and own it if our customers brought it up. (Only one did).
Moral of the story: it wasn’t a big deal. Most mistakes aren’t.
When you approach life withperfectionin mind, then you’re naturally going to blow every misstep out of proportion and not see it for what it really is - a simple mistake - with a lesson for the taking.
For us, it was simply a lesson to proof the elements we took for granted. Yes, it was embarrassing, but it certainly wasn't the end of the world.
Remember that the greatest lessons are often learned at the worst times from the worst mistakes.