When was the last time you made a mistake? How did you feel? Did you feel small and shabby? Did you feel singled out and blamed?
Making mistakes can seem frightening because you feel tossed out of the collective team – in your family, at work, and with social groups. Mistakes have long been tied to labels like “bad” and “wrong,”, and when they are co-mingled with shame, mistakes become things to hide, avoid, and fear.
In Freedom to Be: An Embracing Life Experience offered through Your Infinite Life Training & Coaching Company, we compare the energy created in our bodies through fearing, hiding, and avoiding mistakes to that of lying down on a bed of nails. We do it ever so carefully. We feel tense. If we are vigilant with every word and every action, we can avoid making a mistake! Instead, we suggest viewing making a mistake as flopping into a big, comfy chair. From that vantage point, you can flexibly, creatively, and comfortably operate in your life. You can see your mistakes, check them out without judgement, and make adjustments or make amends. How liberating!
Would you like to make the move from the bed of nails to the comfy chair so that you no longer fear mistakes? Would you like your children to operate from the comfy chair so that they do not limit themselves because of that same fear? Here are a few ways to refurnish your life with comfy chairs!
· Notice how you handle your mistakes. Do you beat yourself up? Do you slap your forehead and call yourself names? Do you give up? Cut that out! Commit to improving upon the mistake rather than engaging in discouraging self-talk. That inner dialogue limits your creativity to improve. Instead, ask yourself how you will do it differently the next time. Will you pause before responding to someone? Will you clarify what was requested of you? Will you learn more about the subject matter? Will you communicate more clearly? Discover the missing piece and commit to using it in the future. Do all of this from the comfy chair!
· Recognize that how you model handling mistakes is how your children will handle theirs. You are their guide. This can be a wonderful inspiration for you to handle your own mistakes with greater comfort.
· Notice how you treat others who make mistakes. Commit to being helpful rather than judgmental. The more you practice greater self-acceptance around your own mistakes, the more you inspire others to benefit from sitting in the comfy chair. When your child makes a mistake, ask how they will handle it the next time. Make the discussion around your child’s mistake one of discovery and learning. Freely share your own mistakes and how you improved.
· Avoid blame. This includes blaming yourself. Blame is shame’s partner in the arena of mistakes. Blame is the antithesis of responsibility, and it does not contribute to improvement or learning. It doesn’t feel good, and it doesn’t support you in living from your authority.
· Feel your feelings. Lean in to the sad, hurt, anger, or fear around your mistake. Fully feel it and let it go. For more on feeling your feelings, including a high-content video, click here. Practice this with your children, guiding them to fully feel their feelings.
· Make amends. This goes beyond an apology. If a relationship is disturbed, do a make-up. Find a way to level the playing field once again. Let the other person know what they can count on you for in the future.
To make major headway in this shift, I highly recommend attending Freedom to Be: An Embracing Life Experience. The transition experienced in this course will be profound, and you will leave with the tools to stop blaming others, to process mistakes with ease, and to handle it when others blame you. We have our first course in New Mexico this November. Join us! In the meantime, there are courses around the country. Check the calendar for all of them.
If you want to start a deeper practice around how you handle mistakes right now, consider coaching. Experience a life-enhancing freedom by changing those old views around mistakes! It can make a world of difference for you. It can make a world of difference for your children, not only now, but as future adults.
Enjoy your life from the comfy chair!