Judy Churchill: Mistakes! - Don’t do regrets – Rise again!
By Judy Churchill
Easter is all about rebirth, rising up again and leaving the pain and suffering of the past behind us. With this in mind, I thought it might be interesting to look at why contrary to what you might expect, making mistakes is so good for us, why we shouldn’t shy away from our ‘failures’ and how we can turn those negatives into positives.
As I often say to my language students, you don’t learn anything from just getting things right. In fact, if you don’t take the risk of experimenting then you don’t progress and you learn nothing new. The very nature of the word experiment means that we’re going to win some and lose some. If you go through life with this philosophy you won’t end up in tears each time you lose. For every successful business venture there are hundreds that ended up in the bin. Every successful athlete knows that when they win the race, they won because they learnt from the races they lost and they’ll be more to lose in the future. So when you make a mistake you can choose to curl up and die or you can savour your wins and embrace your mistakes as part of a healthy learning curve that shows you are willing to take risks. You are alive and kicking and trying!
You may be thinking back to the person who screwed you over on a deal or conned you out of a load of money, influence or time (we’ve all been there). This kind of situation teaches you the value of doing due diligence.
You may have been let down by what you thought was your ‘team’ or ‘committee’ or ‘board’ who didn’t want to back you on what seemed to you to be no brainer. Further down the line you started over with a new group of backers and realised it was the best thing that could have possibility happened to you.
The universe works its magic in mysterious ways and sometimes although we don’t like it, it allows us to make mistakes, inciting us to leave a situation that is wrong for us, rather than stagnating until the rot sets in.
Divorces are classic examples: you married the wrong man, too soon, too young, in the wrong place, wrong culture. Whatever the circumstance, you learnt something; so now stand back and ask yourself honestly if you want to go back there. Aren’t you better off where you are today?
From the moment we are born, life is series of trials and errors, tumbles, slips and slides and we certainly don’t expect babies and toddlers to be perfect. So, when does the unwritten law step in to say ‘from now on, you can’t make another mistake’!
If you have been through the French education system then you have grown up with ‘on n’a pas le droit à l’erreur’ (‘god forbid if you make a mistake’) mentality. I have been dealing with debriefing French adults in my training and coaching courses for years, helping them to understand that they don’t have to be ‘perfect’ every time they open their mouths. I remember dealing with a mixed corporate team where one of the French members said to me: ‘It’s alright for him, he’s American, they are born with self-confidence’ and my reply ‘no, it’s just he doesn’t mind making mistakes – so he goes for it!’
Mistakes mean you’re doing something. You’re not just standing in the wings, afraid to step out of your comfort zone. If you try a new sport and don’t succeed then try, try again. If you want to speak a new language then, just like a child, you’re going to have to say some pretty weird and unintelligible things before you can’t start reciting poetry.
When you read other peoples’ success stories, it's far more interesting reading about how the guy/girl who had nothing, slipped up and bounced back from their mistakes than the guy/girl who was born with a silver spoon in their mouth and invested the money they inherited from their parents. We love reading about the mistakes of others because it not only makes them human but it gives us hope. So, he/she made a bundle of money, lost it, remade it, relost it and is now on another upward curve – now that’s inspiring!
People who are humble enough to say ‘I didn’t get it right most of the time but yes I succeeded some of the time and that was enough’, are more compassionate towards others who make mistakes.
So the next time you slip up, don’t wallow in the misery of the mistake, ask yourself what you’re going to do about it, push forward and RISE AGAIN!
Judy is based in Monaco and specialises in transformational coaching working with both individuals and companies.
Judy is also a qualified language teacher/trainer for adults and children in French, English and Spanish.
If you would like to receive coaching, communication skills training, language tutoring or certified translating from Judy, you can contact her on:firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com via Facebook messenger and www.judychurchill.com