I write a lot about social conditioning. The things we've learned to believe, to embrace, to fear, and how many of those things were taught to us by people who were trying to help. People who may have cared for us and probably didn't recognize that their own perspectives influenced the way they viewed the world and how it operates.
One of the things that a lot of people were conditioned to fear - myself included - is making mistakes.
Speaking from my own experiences, I learned that only perfection was appreciated. Anything less, just wasn't good enough. And as I developed my own filters around what this meant for me personally, it amounted to the belief that perfection wasn't obtainable, at least not for me, and also that my worthiness and value were attached to perfection. When perfection wasn't there, I felt rejected, and worthless. And that sucked.
Then I heard a song by Fiona Apple called A Mistake.
It's about someone tired of doing what everyone else tells her she should do and following her inner voice instead.
This song rocked my world, because I was one of those people. The ones who were so fearful of making mistakes that we followed anyone else's directives and advice but our own.
By doing that, I was living a monochrome life. I wasn't expressing my true self. And it was very hard for me to progress personally or professionally by following 'the shoulds', because I was pretending to be someone else instead of allowing my own uniqueness to come out and play.
All because of fear of making mistakes and being rejected.
Author Joseph Conrad mentioned something similar to this sentiment, "Only those who do nothing make no mistakes." Since I am on a crusade to bring positive language back into popular use, let's turn this around to read, those who do things make mistakes.
It's a part of life. If you're going to do something, mistakes are a part of the process. After all, we made mistakes when learning to walk and talk. We made mistakes when learning to read, write and do math. And we make mistakes today.
The only difference is, it's a lot harder to admit because so many of us have been taught that making mistakes are bad, and tend to lead to rejection when we make one. We try to blame someone - anyone - for it, so we aren't the one receiving the finger of accusation, and since we're not to blame we remain accepted by the hive.
But what if instead of running from mistakes, we, like Fiona Apple, embraced them? Does that mean we go out and make mistakes intentionally because we can? Maybe.
Take the entrepreneur, author and speaker Jia Jang.
He felt rejection at an early age and then noticed as an adult that he was too fearful to pursue aspirations he had in his teens because of fears around rejection. With that realization he became determined to turn that fear into opportunity. Here is what he did.
Yes, mistakes and fear of rejection can be paralyzing, but only if you allow them to continue to run your life. The foundations for these fears only retain their power because they have been accepted as fact. But these 'facts of life' are based on old information that, once upgraded with a new and improved viewpoint, can be archived and replaced by more empowered approaches that better serve you today.
Questions: What is your view of making mistakes? Do you run from them or embrace them? If fear of mistakes and rejection hinder your life, what actions can you intentionally take to turn those fears around?
If you're challenged by perfectionism and a fear of making mistakes, Magical Mind - a 4-week online program currently in the works can help. Or if you'd prefer some 1:1 guidance, give Detanglement Coaching a try.
Change is always easier with support, so if you've got a change in the works but aren't ready to commit to a program or coaching, please find people who can support you in a positive and uplifting way, to help make your transition a smooth and positive one!
Mindset Monday is a weekly blog that consists of a quote, a comment and one or two questions. It is intended to be short but sweet while providing you with something to ponder related to mindset as you begin your week. Mindset is a choice. Make yours an amazing one!
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