Yes be proud of your mistakes, they made you who you are today. Can you accept that your mistakes are something to be proud of? It goes completely against everything we are taught as we are growing up. We do something wrong as a child and we are told off, then we get to school and punished for our mistakes.
Life is About Evolving
The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be – Oprah Winfrey
Without making mistakes we can not evolve. I remember when I was studying for my computer science degree, those endless hours spent trying to write computer code. The only way I could ever get the code to work was by making mistake after mistake, until finally it worked.
So why is it that we think we can get through life without making a mistake? And when we do why are we so hard on ourselves?
Surely we should be proud of our mistakes because ultimately what they lead to are our successes.
Life Begins Outside of Your Comfort Zone
The thing is in life we avoid making mistakes by sticking to the things we know. We live life on auto pilot, do things without really noticing and just go from day to day repeating the same thing. Because we think anything outside of our familiar world is somehow dangerous or risky.
But in reality to really taste life we have to come out of this comfort zone, we have to take risks and feel life at it’s core.
Does that somehow make you feel uncomfortable?
I speak to people all the time about getting out of their comfort zone, about pursuing their dreams because life is not going to last forever. This sometimes sparks a self protective reaction, like it’s a personal attack. It’s almost like they just don’t want to be pushed to see how they are limiting their life out of the fear of making a mistake. Unfortunately these people are usually the first ones to complain about life or to criticize people who don’t just settle.
Better an “Ooops” than a “What if”
So what exactly do we fear when we hold ourselves back, is it the actual mistake or something else? Personally I think we fear other peoples opinions of us. Our greatest fear is not being liked by others, not fitting in, not being part of the group and not belonging. After all we strive for a sense of belonging from childhood.
Perhaps we also want to be the good girl or boy, we grow up being told what is good and what is bad that by the time we reach adulthood it’s not questioned. We tow the line, behave as we are told and anything outside of that is deviant or worse criminal.
But really successful people don’t follow the rules, if they did they certainly wouldn’t have made it. That doesn’t mean you have to be a criminal or break laws, it just means learning to play the game, the game of life. And that requires a little risk taking, sometimes a lot, that depends on what you want out of your life.
Time is like a river.
You can not touch the same water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again.
Enjoy every moment of your life.
Living Life According to Others
Living your life according to what others expect will guarantee you fit in, that you are part of the group but over the years it can build up into deep resentment. If you never connect with your true desires, keep them bottled up and cover them up thinking they will pass, then one day you may look back on your life with regret.
Problem with regret is, it can become soul destroying.
If you fear making a mistake because you may disappoint someone, then perhaps you need to reassess your relationships. Real love means unconditional acceptance.If they love you they will want to see you happy. And they will be there for you even if it doesn’t work, even if you make a mistake.
Stop letting other people define you – Be yourself and Be Proud of It
Be Proud of You – Be Proud of Your Mistakes
I guess I’ve been lucky in that I’ve always had a sense of self worth and self confidence that’s been difficult for anyone to break. Even after my marriage ended I didn’t lose sight of who I am, it’s a sense of self belief that I developed as a child and having to rely on myself for most things.
I’m proud of who I am, I’m not too worried if others like me or not because I enjoy, no I love being alone. And that’s why it is important to first be comfortable with who you are, comfortable with your own company and enjoy just being you. Then you live according to you.
My mistakes have been the most important teachings I’ve ever received. Don’t ever regret your mistakes but do make sure you learn from them.
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I had an interesting conversation in my group session this week. We talked about the struggle of letting go of past relationships, especially when you believe that it was “The One”. The special one that you’ve been waiting for, that one who will be there for you forever, the one that will have your back, who will share your sadness, joys and pain.
However there is no such thing as forever, if there is anything certain in this world it is that change is constant. Look around you, what has stayed the same? If things change then people change, that is the nature of life.
If things didn’t change there would be no butterflies”
Fighting Change is What Causes so Much Pain.
Isn’t it a strange life we live? We know forever doesn’t exist, life itself doesn’t last forever yet we spend all our lives clinging to keep things the same. It’s that constant struggle to keep things from changing that makes us so unhappy yet we persist.
Life is a String of Moments
When we start to live mindfully and become aware of life in the moment, then we have a profound understanding of change. Life isn’t a long straight line, it is a bumpy road made up of good, bad and ugly moments. Once we can accept that we can learn to make peace with life.
Fear of Change is Just a Fear of the Unknown
If change is happening all the time why do we resist it so much? Sometimes we even resist change if our current situation is not exactly perfect (and I use perfect very loosely). The reason we do this is because we fear the unknown. You know the saying “better the devil you know” well that’s exactly how we play our life. Stuck in the known in case the unknown is not what we want.
Then we never experience the amazing because we stay in the safe place we know. Life passes us by, with few amazing moments.
Relationships Change Too
And whether we like it or not, people change, relationships change and clinging onto the story we have told ourselves about this relationship just prolongs the pain.
Can we learn to live our relationships moment to moment?
Just imagine if we could really live our relationships in the moment, without this unrealistic expectation that it will somehow never change and last forever. How would that change how we relate to others, especially in our close and intimate relationships?
I asked these questions in my session, a lot of silence followed because it goes against everything we grow up believing.
It’s uncomfortable to imagine being in any kind of relationship without having a dream of it lasting forever. Even friends are meant to be forever right?
Perhaps it’s time to accept that change is inevitable, learn to live more in the moment without too many expectations about the next moment. Trusting that it will unfold exactly as it should be.
Learning to let go of people when they need to move on, when you need to move on and make room for new people, new things and experiences. Sometimes the unknown turns out to be much more than you ever imagined.
When you look back at your life it is clear that not everything went according to plan.
In my case that is definitely true. I used to have lots of plans for my life but not many worked out that way. In the end though I know that things usually worked out better than I had planned, or perhaps it’s just my ability to adapt to the changes that made it better?
In the last couple of years, following my redundancy and divorce I’ve tried to put a plan in place for my new life. The problem has been that because so much of my life had changed it was difficult to see a clear way forward. I would jump from one idea to another, it was all about experimenting, eliminating and testing out. To a certain extent it’s still like this and I guess that’s what life is about.
The one thing that I have learnt is that having the courage to change course is what it takes to create a life on your terms. At times it can be extremely difficult because you think once you’ve made a commitment you must stick to it. But who says that? Who’s voice are you listening to?
The beauty of living a single life is that there is nobody else to consider, your life, your choices.
Why do we stick to a course in our life, even though we know it doesn’t feel right?
- I think that the first thing that keeps us stuck on a course in our life that we know deep inside is not right for us is that it’s just easier. We stick to what is familiar because changing will take us to places that are unfamiliar and uncomfortable.
- One that is particularly close for me is that I feel that once I’ve said I will do something then I must do it. I’ve struggled with this lately but now made a commitment to myself that I will do as I please, even if that completely contradicts what I may have said yesterday, last week or last year.
- And a big one for me is admitting that I was wrong. It hurts the ego that’s for sure. But being wrong is probably not the right way to see it. And letting go of ego is one step in the right direction in anycase.
Accept that what was right for you yesterday may not be right for you today and that is perfectly fine.
- Fear – it keeps us paralised, avoiding change, avoiding getting out of our comfort zone and to an extent avoiding life. I have become familiar with fear. I don’t avoid it because I know it will present itself to me every time I have to make a choice and make a change. Sometimes it will stall me for a while but in the end I go on blind faith and jump through it. Once that first step is made, the rest comes naturally.
In the end we don’t have all the answers, we don’t know if we are on the right course all the time and accepting this can be the first step to living life in this moment. With no attachment to an outcome because we always get what is right for us, when we are ready to accept it.
I was out this morning and within 10 minutes I came across at least 3 people who were sleeping instead of paying attention.
You know the driver that didn’t see you crossing because they are on their phone, the one who walks straight into you and doesn’t even notice and the one who just rushes around for no apparent reason.
That’s a rather literal way to explain the point I am trying to make here.
You were born to live, not sleep
We tend to sleep through much of our life, taking things for granted because there’s always tomorrow right?
What if you knew that tomorrow wasn’t going to come, would that change the way you live your life?
The truth is that tomorrow never comes because the minute tomorrow is here, it’s today. So waiting for tomorrow is pointless.
I remember the days when I would just feel like a machine. Get up, get dressed, have a coffee, run off to work. Spend the day waiting for the day to finish so I could go home. Then push my way through the crowds on the London Underground to get home. Cook, Eat, Wash up and fall onto the sofa, dead to the world! Only to repeat it the next day.
Lucky for me, I was made redundant then my divorce gave me the final kick up the arse (excuse the language) and I grabbed at the opportunity to change everything. Otherwise I would still be on that treadmill, day in day out.
So how do you stay fully alive but still survive in our society?
- Becoming aware of the fact that you are not happy with the way things are is the first step to change. This is the beginning of waking up.
- I’m not saying you just get up one day and run. Make a plan, look at your options and decide what you have to do.
- Start making small changes in your life, everyday. Like spending less time in front of the TV and doing things that are interesting, fulfilling and life enhancing. TV numbs you, it rarely adds to your life.
- Don’t get swept up in the story sold to you about working harder and saving for the future. What future? We sell our life in the hope for a better future, how much is your life worth?
- Really get to know what it is you want out of life, what makes you happy and then make it happen.
- Let go of fear, it’s not real and most of what is in your head are just stories that paralyze you. Hear them but pay no attention.
You were born to Live not Sleep
It’s Friday today, I’m sitting at home working on my blog and it’s completely silent, only the loud wind outside is slightly disturbing. The thing is that I’m beginning to love this time I get on my own, doing what I want to do and really importantly, never having to wake up to an alarm clock. This to me is freedom, to be able to decide how your day goes, that’s so liberating.
I don’t say this to try to belittle anyone in a job they enjoy. Our lives are a personal choice. I made a real commitment to myself to turn my life around after it was turned upside down. I made a commitment to live life true to myself and that also means daring to be different.
Daring to be Different – The side affects
Sometimes this different path can be difficult because it takes away all stability and what we perceive to be security. My experience has shown me that to live in that world of grasping at security and stability is only deceiving yourself. To be able to live life on a day to day basis, with a total focus on today is unnerving but so much more healthy.
The three things that daring to be different does:
- Isolates you from some friends, family and to an extent to a certain part of society. If you are not playing the game anymore, then nobody wants to play with you. That’s the way it goes.
- Certainly isn’t always comfortable. It feels less safe because you have to carve out a new path and this can be challenging a lot of the time.
- It requires you to be totally flexible and open to new experiences, new people and try to go with the flow. Again that removes a lot of what we perceive to be secure in our lives and it’s not easy.
Once you know there’s a better way, it’s impossible to go back.
And there lies the biggest challenge because once you start seeing things differently, you just can’t go back to what was. Just to remind you, little over a year ago I was married, working in a well paid highly respectable job and thought I’d made it.
Now I look at that time with a little sadness because actually I wasn’t really being me, I was being the person I needed to be to fit in.
Daring to be different is what it takes to be you.
And what you realise when you start to be authentically you is that you attract into your life the people who value you for who you really are. You attract people who dare to be different themselves and your relationships become meaningful and deep. There is real connection rather than everything being on the surface.
So whatever happens, just dare to be different, dare to be you!
One Day You Wake Up and Realize You Have Lost Yourself
A man writes a letter after finding out that his wife was having an affair for over ten years. He shows no anger but realises how much of his life he has wasted and how much of his real self he has lost over the years.
He writes: (more…)
Letting go is easy when you understand that Nothing is Permanent
My experience has taught me that the most harmful thing we can do to ourselves is to cling to things, people and situations because we live in this state of thinking everything is permanent.
We spend most of our lives building relationships and creating a life that we believe will always be there to hold us together. But things do change, people change, everything around us is changing right in front of our eyes and it doesn’t matter how much we try to ignore it, it will never be the same again.
So why do we spend so much time resisting change?