A mistake is a creation of hindsight. In effect, there really is no such thing as a mistake when you actually did it!
Whatever action you did was the only one possible for YOU at the time - that's why you did it! Looking back with hindsight from a better vantage point of experience and greater knowledge, it is easy to berate yourself and feel badly for what happened, but how were you to know otherwise without the necessary experience? If you hate making mistakes you are unlikely to be an inventor, scientist or entrepreneur. Simply because any mistake is a form of trial and error.
It is our desire for perfection why we see a past action as inadequate compared to the present, when ALL actions are part of our development and growth and teach us something new. Without any mistakes we would never learn the difference between what is appropriate and what is not, or what works and what doesn't. It is only in our modern world where we get hung up on mistakes. But up to a century ago, before we had this shiny technologically accomplished world, mistakes were taken as given, part and parcel of living, because that was the only way people could learn about their world or invent new things: through trial and error. Sadly, now that we are the beneficiaries of numerous inventions which some people even paid for with their lives, we want a perfect world without 'mistakes'.
As to a 'mistake' itself, there are five factors why anyone would make a 'mistake' or do something inappropriate. It is usually because they lack the confidence, knowledge, experience, resources, training and information, or, above all, the maturity, to deal with a particular situation. They have to act from their limited base of awareness, mainly on instincts, only to find out later on that such action was not adequate. But that was part of their essential learning process and when anyone denies mistakes or focuses on them too negatively, one simply denies their growth and limit their progression.
Worse still, one is always left with a feeling of inadequacy and doubt about one's capabilities, which then erodes one's self confidence and self esteem. That is why the people who tend to make mistakes are the perfectionists who try their hardest to avoid them and who lack the confidence to act any differently. But the more they try to avoid mistakes, the more anxious they will get and, ipso facto, the more mistakes they'll make!
Survival fears are natural. But how much unnecessary emotional fears do you carry? Try this QUIZ and see.
©Elaine Sihera (Ms CYPRAH) 2012
Emotional Health and People Management Consultant
"Happiness is a state of being. We are the ones who decide whether we wish to be happy or not, by the script we use inside our heads."