Oops, I Did It Again: Accepting Mistakes
We can be hard on ourselves.
All those times we think about what we should have done instead of what we did. We kick ourselves in the mental butt for being such idiots. If only we could get a redo.
Well, we can’t go back in time and change things, but we can appreciate that awful scarring moment. Don’t be discouraged. Don’t beat yourself up. Believe it or not, those moments are gifts.
Here are a some reasons for accepting mistakes…
Accept That You Don’t Know
I am bad at math. I don’t know if it’s just how genetic, or if I missed that day of school when they covered all the shortcuts, or if it’s some government conspiracy that keeps me using my fingers to count to twelve. Yes, twelve. And it hurts my brain. Some people “get it.” I am not of their ilk.
Mind you, I wouldn’t know I was bad at math if I never had to take math in school. Knowing that, I keep a calculator handy for those necessary times. I know my skill level, and I work with it, or around it.
Now, before I get grief from any mathophiles out there, consider this: As an artist myself, I’ve had to sit next to people in art classes who couldn’t quite get the concepts of negative space, line quality, form, or composition. They took the class as a requirement, and once the credits were earned, never drew an arrangement of fruit again. And they lived reasonably happy, for the rest of their days.
It’s okay to not be good at everything you do. But you do need to give things a try.
Mistakes Are How You Learn
If everything you ever did was right the first time, you’d sorely miss out.
There’s something special about learning, that moment of discovery. And if you got it right the first time, it might just be luck. Things could go terribly wrong on your second attempt, but you wouldn’t know the way to fix it. Any spelling bee second place winner can tell you what word was their Waterloo, and spell it correctly forever after, too.
Another great thing about mistakes is the chance for something completely new. I don’t mean new for you, but new for the whole world. Plenty of major discoveries were the result of what would otherwise be considered major boo boos. Teflon, potato chips, popsicles, penicillin, Coca-cola, vulcanized rubber, plastic, and Slinkies are just some things that weren’t invented on purpose. Lucky for us, those things weren’t just tossed aside.
As that late great PBS painter Bob Ross said, “We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.”