Updated: Feb 22
Do you make a mistake and move on? Or do you chew on that mistake until there's no flavor left, using it as a 2 x4 to beat the crap out of yourself?
The big mistakes I used to chew on endlessly. Not for days but sometimes for years. I'd swim in the guilt or the anger around those mistakes until my fingers looked like a prune.
As I was thinking about this topic, one of my many mistakes popped into view.
A BIG KAHUNA MISTAKE
Several years ago, I purchased a marketing program even though my gut was screaming at me not to do so. It kept trying to tell me that there was something not right about the program. And that the person who created it was not a good fit for me and my practice.
Sadly, my gut didn't stand a chance against the program promises.
The creator of the program promised that I'd learn more significant ways to put my work out into the world, I'd increase my income, and I'd grow my practice exponentially.
Those promises were persuasive (I guess it didn't help that I was in a slightly desperate space), so I signed up.
Big mistake. Big. Big. Big.
The program fell way short of what it promised to deliver. A good portion of the content was available for free, and my gut was right. Every month when the payment* would come out of my account, I'd think about that mistake, and I'd flog myself.
How could I let this happen?
Why didn't I listen to my gut?
All that 2x4 swinging didn't help; it just added more insult to injury that was already costing me. Not just in monthly payments, but in how I felt like I was nothing more than a dollar sign.
(*I tried to get my money back. To do that, I had to complete the six-month program in two weeks and prove that I had tried all the exercises.)
"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."
― Albert Einstein
But here's where the rubber met the road and when the rumination and the flogging stopped. I decided to sit with my journal, and I took stock of the lessons I learned due to making this mistake.
The first lesson is to always listen to your gut. ALWAYS! It feels off; chances are it feels that way for a reason, even if you don't know why.
The second lesson, if it looks way too good to be true, chances are it is.
The third lesson is not to make decisions out of desperation.
The fourth lesson is to do your homework and research to check things out before making a big purchase.
And thanks to the person offering the program, I was reminded of my integrity. I was reminded of how when I promise something, I deliver. I took heart in the fact that I have never treated my clients as dollar signs. Never! Nor would I.
When I finished journaling, gratitude replaced my anger and guilt. Gratitude for the valuable lessons and awareness that will serve me in the future. (And they have.)
"We learn from failure, not from success!"
― Bram Stoker
I was also grateful for the reminder that it's not the mistake that's the real issue; it's what we allow it to do, and that's the real issue.
Do we let it teach us, or do we use it to beat ourselves up?
Think of a mistake that's still sticking in your craw. And with a pen in hand, list all the things you've learned from that mistake. Somethings that will help you to avoid makings similar mistakes going forward.
Mistakes are feedback. If we pay attention to that feedback (by dropping the 2x4), we gain some valuable insight to help us grow and change. And here's something essential to remember, mistakes don't define who you are unless, of course, you let them.
Here's to making those mistakes and learning from them, so that they no longer suck!
P.S. If you have a mindset-related question, please don't hesitate to reach out. I'm always happy to help.