Whenever I hear – ‘learn from my mistakes’, in my mind I travel back to my childhood and hear my mum’s voice. Oh, she really wanted me to learn from her mistakes. Especially when it came to that boyfriend that she didn’t think was good enough for me and I was determined to marry him.
I must admit, that wasn’t the only advice that I decided to ignore. And I’m not just talking about my teenage years. I’m talking about my whole life and my apparent inability to learn from other people’s mistakes. Even when they are generously or for a price willing to share their valuable experience.
So, I spent years analysing myself and trying to figure out what was wrong with me. My fear that I wasn’t very bright only got bigger when I came across that popular quote by Ken Schramm –
“A smart person learns from his mistakes, but a truly wise person learns from the mistakes of others.”
Blimey, it seemed that I was even managing to repeat some of my own mistakes. ?
Three years ago when I started my coaching business I thought that it was time for me to wise up. For the first time in my life I decided to play smart and invest in myself. Luckily, there were numerous business coaches who were advertising their services using the exact words that I needed to hear. ‘Learn from my mistakes’. It seemed that everything I needed was in my reach and the only challenge was picking one programme out of so many. Then I remembered that someone once told me – ‘If you don’t know what is good, look for the expensive.’
And there I was. Picking the most expensive programme that I couldn’t afford but feeling really good about it. I knew that I was building my debt but knowing that I was going to learn from someone else’s mistakes meant that I was making a wise decision.
Fast forward one year, my business is still in square on, my debt is insurmountable, I’m losing my sleep and I can’t stop wondering whether I just made one of the biggest mistakes of my life.
And right there, in the middle of my worst ever financial crisis, that felt like I finally hit the rock bottom, all of the sudden I knew exactly what I needed to do.
Every day, all day long we make decisions. Get up early or stay in bed, walk or drive, eat or skip breakfast, read a book or watch TV, stay in or go out. But then there are also bigger, more important decisions like getting married, buying a house or changing a career and they can either bring success and prosperity or completely turn our life upside down. And when the latter happens and we find ourselves brokenhearted, lonely and broke we start feeling like a failure whose life is just a series of mistakes. So we stop dreaming, we stop chasing goals and we settle for a small, unfulfilled life, frozen in fear of making another mistake.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. Because the truth is, THERE ARE NO MISTAKES.
And here’s why.
Every time we make a decision, we make the best decision that we are capable of making, relative to our own awareness and understanding. What I mean is that we don’t intentionally make a decision to do something that will give us unwanted results. We make decisions hoping for the best. But we don’t come to this planet all-knowing and all-understanding. We come to learn and grow. And as we go through life facing good times and bad times, what we must realise is that THIS IS OUR LIFE. Assuming that some parts of our life are mistakes because of the unwanted results we might be experiencing, is inaccurate.
Sometimes we get what we want, sometimes we learn a lesson. Life gives us experiences that we need in order to become the best version of ourselves. There are no mistakes.
The only mistake that we can make is to permit our fear of making a mistake keep us stuck in a place where we don’t belong.
So don’t let anyone take your mistakes away from you and tell you – ‘learn from my mistakes’. There is no such thing as learning from someone else’s mistakes.
When we learn from the mistakes of others, we only know in theory, but when we learn from our own experience, then we know that we know.
Stop counting your mistakes. Live your life to the full and enjoy the ride.
Your life is your best teacher. Don’t resist it. Learn from it.
Check my new online course Create Feel Good Life – Step Into Success