Mistakes are Essential for Growth

“I made a mistake.” Those are four words nobody ever wants to have to admit. Mistakes are a part of the learning process of life. Mistakes don’t always have to be bad, but the human reaction to making a mistake is usually a bad one. If you are like me, you beat yourself up over making careless mistakes. I like to strive for perfection and hate to disappoint people, but in reality, I make mistakes too. You replay everything in your head and try to figure out where you went wrong. In the end, you have to live with what you did. If you are lucky enough, the mistake can be fixed. Realizing that it is OK to make mistakes is the key to helping you live a happier life.

You aren’t the first

It’s funny we don’t usually think of others who screw up as inept, but when we falter, it’s a different matter. We imagine we are useless and don’t forgive ourselves.

Everyone makes mistakes. What’s more, trillions of people experienced the same gaffes before you. It’s easy to imagine you’re the first to be unsuccessful, but you’re not alone.

When you make an error, let yourself off the hook. Be kind with soothing self-talk. Offer yourself the advice and generosity you would give to a beloved friend. Remember, everyone fails to achieve the results they want at times, and doing so is part of forming the life you want.

Nothing stays the same

Life flows, life moves on. Sometimes, it looks as though nothing’s happening, but change is forever afoot. Beneath the dirt, a network of roots grow and plants take their first tiny reaches for the surface so they may feel the sun. The wheel of life never stops turning.

All things, your mood, the weather, and circumstances alter with time. One day soon your mistakes won’t mean anything anymore and the negativity you experience will fade from your memory.

Vulnerability is endearing

Did you ever notice how successful, seemingly perfect people, have a huge entourage, but not many close friends? People admire them, but they are in awe. Additionally, who wants to be best buddies with someone who shows you up all the time simply by being perfect?

We gravitate to people who aren’t afraid to show they are real and have problems the same as the rest of us. When they make mistakes, we warm toward them and recognize ourselves in their blunders and embarrassment.

It’s useful to be super-efficient, but perfectionism doesn’t help you connect with people. You need to be vulnerable and mess up occasionally.

When you are at your lowest, people can rise to the occasion, help, and feel closer to you.

Successful people screw up

Some of the most successful people I know made huge mistakes on their journey to achievement. Several earned, and then lost, massive amounts of money before regaining their losses, or made other blunders.

You will meet setbacks and make errors just because you are on a voyage of discovery. Recognize accomplished people screw up too. Your mistakes are not proof you won’t make it.

Blunders are stepping stones

Each mistake takes you one step closer to your goal. It increases your wisdom and experience, so you know more the next time you face a similar challenge.

Focus, not on failure, but on progress, and see mistakes as helpful. Remember, every blunder is useful. It shows you what not to do next time and urges you to try a new angle that might work. Carry on, and you’ll find a way forward.

You’re growing emotionally

You can’t change into a wiser version of yourself unless you transform. Like a caterpillar, you must undergo experiences that change you to become a greater version of yourself.

You grow as a person when you make blunders too. Your insights expand, you gain self-awareness, and you’re better able to understand others because, when you see them screw up, you’ve been there before and can empathize.

Mistakes show you what to improve

Have you ever met someone who thinks they know everything? Well, you realize they are wrong. Until they mess up, they don’t recognize where they must focus to increase knowledge though.

You can’t see your blind spots, areas under the radar needing attention until your mistakes highlight them.


Blunders might fill you with shame and anxiety, but they are integral to growth. You must fail occasionally to rise back up like a wave with renewed strength and wisdom.

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