Learning By Mistake

On July 1, 2013, in Heather Bussing, HRExaminer, by Heather Bussing

It's okay to fall down, screw up, make mistakes, and figure it out by doing it wrong. Transformation is a process. It usually isn’t pretty. You will always be learning something new, and screwing up while you do.

It’s okay to fall down, screw up, make mistakes, and figure it out by doing it wrong. Transformation is a process. It usually isn’t pretty. You will always be learning something new, and screwing up while you do.

The hard way is how I’ve learned everything that’s important to me.

It’s okay to fall down, screw up, make mistakes, and figure it out by doing it wrong. Transformation is a process. It usually isn’t pretty.

Take learning to ski. There you are at the top of the mountain in your cute jacket and sunscreen lip gloss. Then you notice the snow, and cold, and wind, and how weird your feet feel in boot jail. It dawns on you those feet are attached to very long slippery boards. The only way to hot chocolate is to skid down a mountain. What were you thinking?

Suddenly, you have a whole new appreciation for gravity and friction.

So you fall on your ass all the way down. Small children go zipping past, laughing as you hobble up the hill to collect your other ski.

When you get back to the lifts wondering if your tailbone is broken, your cheerful, warm, dry friends tell you to do it again. You wonder whether to kill yourself, or kill them first.

The bad news is, it never ends. You will always be learning something new, and screwing up while you do.

The good news is, if there is no end, then any place in the process is no better, and no worse, than anywhere else. It’s just an infinite number of points on a infinite line. So, it’s always okay to be exactly where you are–even when that place feels rotten. It’s just the place for this moment. And it will change.

No matter what, you will never be fixed, perfect, or even normal, because there’s no such thing.

As long as you can see a tiny ways past your fear, you are doing the right thing. Even when you can’t see, and just want to hide under the covers with a pile of dark-chocolate salted caramels, you are still doing the right thing. Rest is good. Chocolate is especially good.

Quit judging yourself about where you are–you’re there. You won’t be there long. And the more you beat yourself up and tell yourself it’s not okay to be there, the more stuck you will feel.

So your worst fears came true. Now there’s nothing to be afraid of.

Start where you are–it’s not like you really have a choice. If it sucks– okay. So it sucks. What’s the next right thing?

Try not to act from a place of fear or anger. That’s not always possible. Make amends when you do. Take responsibility for what is yours. Don’t take responsibility for what isn’t yours. And if you’re confused about that, confused is a great place to start.

You get do-overs every minute if you need them.

Some of my “best” achievements and events turned out to be huge mistakes. (Don’t have children with your starter husband.) And some of the most awful things I’ve gone through have been the most precious gifts. (Sometimes you marry the wrong guy to get the right kids.) Sometimes the best and worst are the same thing.

So when things are going sideways and nothing feels right, you’re just in the process of learning something new. Relax, and keep going. And apply chocolate as needed.



 
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