Do you know how sacred, how necessary, how cutesy and loveable your mistakes are? Mistakes are what make us genuine, endearing, human. If we’re not prepared to make the odd boo-boo then we may as well pack up and check out because we’re not living.
I remember reading something pivotal in one of the ‘Conversations with God’ books by Neale Donald Walsh, years ago. God (filtered through Neale) said something like a 5th Grader is no more perfect or precious than a kindergartner, just because they know more, just because they’re more evolved. God was trying to make the point that it doesn’t matter what stage of personal growth you’re at, you are still as adorable and as beloved as the most evolved human beings that have ever graced our planet.
Making mistakes means you’re trying. And who can ask for more than that?
Let’s take a recent example: Live on Sunday night was the ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ final. Calum Scott was hot favorite to win. However, he made a teeny error during his Rihanna ‘Diamonds’ performance. In fact, I wouldn’t even have noticed had he not let on with his head sinking into his hand and his subsequent shuddered expression. What I- and no doubt the rest of the British public- did notice was his ethereal, unique voice, his impressive recovery, his perseverance and triumph over the second part of the song, despite his nervy beginning.
“ Please don’t tell yourself off later!” Judge Amanda Holden told Calum after his performance, echoing many viewer’s sympathetic hearts I’m sure, certainly mine: I personally found the wee stumble made him more adorable, not less, though I knew he would be berating himself for it. I could relate to him, feel compassion for him, sense his web of embarrassment and regret and sadness. Despite his hiccup, he was still an astounding singer, he still will, I’m sure, go on to be a very successful recording artist. I won’t remember him for this minor boo-boo, I’ll remember him for the Godbumps that his voice provoked my arms to bubble with, I’ll remember his hypnotic tone and ingenuity in interpreting songs.
The odd mistake does not discount the brilliance of all the things you’ve gotten right. In the words of Jesse J in the aptly titled song ‘Who You Are’:-
“I stare at my reflection in the mirror: “Why am I doing this to myself?” Losing my mind on a tiny error, I nearly left the real me on the shelf.”
Think of all the family and friends who you’ve witnessed make mistakes. Do you love them any less for forgetting their lines in a school play, for calling your boss by another name or texting you something saucy instead of their spouse? These are the things that endear them ever more to us. And guess what? Your boo-boos are just as gorgeous to them. And if they’re not…well, the error’s theirs; not yours.
Our children are such an example in how to make mistakes. How many times do toddlers bop on to their bottoms in their endeavor to walk? Countless. Do we love them any less for all the tries? Course we don’t. When they start to dress themselves, do think less of them for getting their shirt inside out, mismatching outfit ensembles, or putting on odd socks? Not one bit. In fact, our heart drops a little deeper in love for them.
Don’t you give up on pursuing you. Don’t be put off by all the colorful mistakes you make. Most of us (me included) have drunk Facebooked, said regrettable things, did something dangerous, mindless, screwed up at important and pivotal moments. What worthy journey is without its potholes? And what would be that point of it anyhow?! Life is about what you do next, not what you did.
But They Did Not Give Up lists all the incredible people who have made mistakes, royally gotten it wrong, and yet never given up. Thomas Edison, Einstein, Henry Ford. They all learned from their mistakes, harnessing them into future successes. The world would be worse off had they not.
Mistakes show us what areas we need to work on to reach success, to reach happiness, to reach the summit of our dreams. We need them. After making a mistake you stand at a choice of perspective, are you going to lift yourself up with questions such as: What can I do with this? How am I richer for this ‘mistake?’ Or are you going to tear your already wounded self down? The choice is yours. The point of power is with you.
We need you, preferably back in action, stronger and more determined, wiser from your mistakes.
Do me a favor; next time you do a boo-boo I want you to listen to this song. Invert the words as a love song for yourself. Promise yourself that you’ll never give up on you…
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can achieve greatly.” Robert. F Kennedy