How To Make More Mistakes
I know, I can hear you thinking….”Why should I want to make more mistakes?”. Well continuing the theme from last weeks blog – we have, as a society, given entirely the wrong messages to our kids about making mistakes.
Kids are taught that mistakes are BAD. They must be bad right? Otherwise, why would you get big RED crosses over your ‘mistakes’ on your homework and big GREEN ticks when you do something ‘right’.
We are taught from an early age that anything less than ‘perfect’ gets marked down. To get full marks you need to be perfect. But, let’s face it, that is not really a realistic view of life, is it? And, to be fair, the only way anyone CAN ever get to ‘perfection’ is to make a LOT of mistakes along the way.
After all – it took Edison 1000 attempts to create the lightbulb. Imagine if he had given up after ‘getting it wrong’ 5 times, or 50 or 500. ‘Mistakes’ are just attempts that didn’t work out, they are not ‘failure’.
For me, failure only occurs when someone gives up. If you give up, then you stop. If you stop, you can’t go any further. That is failure for me. If you try and you don’t quite get it right, is that a mistake? Is that a failure? Or is that just a learning experience where you find out what doesn’t work?
And the more times you find out what doesn’t work, the nearer you get to what does work. So how is that failure? In my mind, that is what we should be encouraging our kids to do. The only way to develop curiosity and creativity is to be unafraid of failure or ‘mistakes’.
Mistakes have been the cause of some of the greatest inventions and discoveries of our time. Penicillin was discovered because Alexander Fleming left some used Petri dishes on his workbench when he went on holiday. When he came back he was clearing up and noticed that one of the Petri dishes – the one that was growing mould, was not growing bacteria around where the mould was.
When we allow our minds and imaginations to float beyond what is ‘known’ and attempt the unknown, that is where the magic happens.
And so, it is simple really, to make more mistakes we just need to be unafraid. When we let fear rule us, we stay in the very narrow confines of our comfort zone. We do that because we fear getting it wrong, making a mistake, failing. And we fear that because we have past hurtful experience that shows us that when we fail, we are judged, people laugh at us or criticise us, or think less of us.
Sometimes it IS hard to go it alone. Sometimes there are shortcuts that stop us from making unnecessary mistakes. If we have a group supporting what we are doing, then we can learn from that group. It isn’t always necessary to reinvent the wheel, but it IS always necessary that we are not afraid to reinvent it.
That’s the purpose of a mastermind group – to give you the chance to not HAVE to reinvent the wheel if someone in your mastermind has already ‘been there and done that’. But also, to make sure that you are not afraid to stand up and reinvent the wheel if that is what is required. Find out more about our Leading Women in Business Networking and Mastermind Group here