If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
by Jonathan Hilton Day 53
As we move through life, there are a few things that become clear are going to be a permanent part of our existence. No matter how things are going they are going to change. We have a finite time to exist, accomplish and live, and we are going to make mistakes.
If mistakes are an inevitable part of life, and important I think it is important to start to question why we are so afraid of them. In fact people lie and mislead every day to avoid being associated with a mistake.
Yet it has been proven in each and every life that it is the mistakes and missteps that lead to the greatest advances people make. I have learned much more from the mistakes in life than from the successes because the mistakes hurt. Why are we so afraid to make mistakes? Read on.
It’s In Our DNA
As human beings we are descended from a primitive people who were hunter gatherers, scratching out a living as best they could against competing groups. That was a time where a mistake could get you killed.
Although you may develop a great new hunting technique or made a brand new weapon that gave you an advantage in survival. Yet if they made a mistake then that was your life. We are hard-wired to fear death, and fear our own mortality, so can it be any wonder that we are intolerant of any mistake now.
It may be our own mistake or the mistake of someone else, but our instincts tell us in the moment to judge the mistake harshly and get away from it. Being mistake free used to keep you alive, but it didn’t help you evolve or move to another level.
We Are Brain Washed
From the moment we are old enough to understand things as kids we are institutionalized into to a public education system that provides the model of behavior it wants to see and we are rewarded for following it as perfectly as we can.
Those who can’t follow are given “poor” grades and encouraged to try to conform a little bit more. The educational system has done a great job of making sure that creativity is abandoned for conformity at an early age and that any kind of mistake will not be tolerated.
There is no error allowed to express yourself as an individual or to try something you are not sure about. Only an approved curriculum is rewarded, based on learning objectives that don’t seem to make a lot of sense.
Anyone who doesn’t fit into the mold of a student and isn’t performing to expectations are treated with drugs that are designed to make them more docile and agreeable. Yes if you make mistakes in school you will be “educated”.
I can see why people become afraid of making mistakes, when they do they are labeled with a bad grade and in extreme cases drugged. I would hate mistakes too.
Your Judgmental Eyes
As adults mistakes continue to be frowned upon, whether they are a part of your work or personal life or both. Everyone in the history of people is an expert at making mistakes and also a victim of them.
I believe we should all strive for perfection, in all that we do, but you can’t give something your all if you are worried about failing or making a mistake. Whenever you are striving to reach new ground there are going to be a learning curve.
You may hit the mark on your first attempt, but more often than not it might take a few attempts to master the curve. To me if the intent is there to improve something or try something new then you should be given a bit of leeway to succeed.
Yet how many people tried, failed, were criticized and ridiculed which led to them quitting before they reach their ultimate goal. Perhaps it was the judgmental eyes of a loved one that saw the mistake as fatal, rather than just a short set back.
How many people quit because of this? We fear mistakes because of what people will think about us. Even though nothing great was ever accomplished without making a few. Mistakes are never fatal only the choices you make because of them are.
Get Rid of Fear
In my mind there is a choice in each day to live in fear or to live with love. When you look at mistakes it is important to look at them through soft eyes that understand and encourage. It is when we look with judgment on the mistakes of others that we forget the humanity we have experienced in our own mistakes.
Mistakes happen, we don’t want them to, but they are never fatal. When we learn to leave the fear of falling behind us, then we will be able to soar to new heights.