The key to learning from your mistakes, is accepting that you made them in the first place.

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Mistakes are a peculiar thing. When we make it them it feels like the world is closing in and everything is against us. Truth be told, you have just been giving a gift. It is up to you however, whether you unwrap the gift to take a closer look or throw it back to the giver like a tantrum throwing 2 year old. It is your responsibility to take ‘responsibility’ for your part in the mistake. Only you can decide to pull that mistake apart and identify the role/s you played. Once you have done this, it is a hell of a lot easier to alter your behaviour, grow and change the course when it comes to making the same mistake again.

The problem we have as adults is that, when we were children, we were told mistakes were bad. Mistakes were surrounded and labelled as a negative occurrence. This is in fact incorrect. Mistakes are simply choices we make that provide us with a different outcome than we were initially expecting. While ever we are being given opportunities to grow and understand ourselves completely, how can that be a negative? Growth within ourselves is and will always be a positive. It helps us move towards becoming the person we truly want to be. It enables us to move more directly towards a ‘successful’ life – however you want to decipher it.

One of the main reasons people give up on their goals is fear of failure or the fear that they will make a mistake. Due to an upbringing that reflected a link between mistakes and shame, people feel more comfortable not trying – over trying, making a mistake and feeling shame. It is therefore imperative that we accept the fear that comes with trying new things and prepare to make the mistakes. Nobody can go through life without making mistakes. It is time to get comfortable with the wisdom and knowledge that you will most definitely make mistakes in life. How you look at them is up to you.

Here’s an exercise I like to do every time I stuff up – which is in fact, often.

RESPONSIBILITY: Write down the mistake. Start with; ‘I made a mistake and this is what it was’

IDENTIFY your involvement: List 5 possible things you did that caused the ‘undesirable’ outcome.

CHANGE: What can you do differently next time?

During this exercise DO NOT blame any one else. That includes people, life, or the universe. If it makes you feel better, take a new sheet of people and knock yourself out scribbling down all of the things that you feel were caused by others and out of your control. Writing your worries, fears and especially anger down on paper is excellent self-therapy. When you are done scrunch that sheet up and place it where it belongs, out of your heart and into the trash!

Samantha Jane

[Note: All information and advise is provided through life experience and experimentation only.]

I would love to hear your feedback or questions: Email iammagazine@live.com.au

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