Most accomplished people will tell you - they could never have gotten where they are without making LOTS of mistakes.
In fact they make more bad decisions than good ones.
The difference is that instead of beating themselves up and retreating, they learn from their mistakes and try again.
Think about anything you know that works well for you, or that you enjoy. You had to try it out first. learn, and then make adjustments to it. You had to experience using it, or doing it, before you knew for sure if you liked it or not.
You may not have liked it at first, but perhaps made adjustments and then liked it. Every recipe you like, every organizing system that does work well for you, you had to try it, and probably adjust it a few times before it worked.
Or perhaps you had to ditch it and start over. The key is that learning from previous attempts is how you learned what you like and what works for you. By embracing mistakes and taking the time to really notice what you can learn from them, you maximize your investment in making them.
When you beat yourself for your mistakes, the opposite happens. You reduce your ability to learn from them and actually magnify the cost of the mistake. What fears are keeping you from getting started, taking action, and making valuable mistakes you can learn from?
- Fear you might waste time, money, energy?
- Fear you will change your mind?
- Fear you will feel regret?
- Fear you won't be able to recover from the embarrassment?
- Fear you will disappoint someone?
- Fear you might have to do something twice? Like go through a pile of clutter more than once?
I hear these fears from people all the time. The key is to notice the fear, but do it anyway. Get past the uncertainty. Realize that you can live through the anxiety and not only that, you can learn to become GRATEFUL for your mistakes. So, How can you make a decision today, all the while knowing that you WILL probably want to change your mind later? or you will get tired of it? or you might have to do it again, etc.? The answer lies in changing the whole way you look at making mistakes.
What if you could believe that all of your mistakes are actually highly valuable?
What if your mistakes are actually the key to your happiness?
What if you minimized the downside risks of your decisions, by planning on the fact that you will probably change your mind later and may have to to do it again, knowing that next time, you will have the benefit of learning a lot from the first attempt? How would your life change if you considered every first choice as a learning experience, a first draft, instead of as a possible mistake? How much faster could get things done? How much less stress would you feel?
Would you go ahead and try saying no to an activity you don't want to do, even though you are "afraid" the other person "might" be disappointed, but even if they were, they wouldn't die and you could still change your mind?
What if you found out they understood completely and weren't disappointed at all?
What an empowering lesson to learn. By getting past your fears, taking risks, and making mistakes, you get to learn more about you really like and don't like, what works for you and what doesn't. Unfortunately, sometimes those lessons cost time and money. But then again, so does food, and clothing, and education and everything else we need in life. Making mistakes is actually the cornerstone of a good education. The trick is not to think of money spent on learning about yourself as a "waste". It's an investment in making yourself more able to have a happier life! You can't buy happiness....but you can buy the lessons needed to acquire it.
The price of freedom is becoming willing to make mistakes, take chances, deal with the consequences of your choices and LEARN what makes you happy. You simply can't learn what works for you without the experience that comes from investing in making mistakes and maximizing what you can learn from them.
This is just one of my exclusive posts from the Getting Unstuck Group Coaching Program for Women with ADHD on Prioritizing What Really Matters. I have posted lots more content and exercises to help participants figure out what is truly important to them, clear the challenges they face in prioritizing, and deal with all the distractions that sideline them.