Making a Mistake Does Not Have to Depress You.

I belong to an awesome networking group of women business owners. (WIN – Women in Networking). Being a member of this group has given me a great support network as well as increased the number of people who now know about our services. In January I became the president of the Wake Forest group, which basically entails running the weekly meeting.

Well, I didn’t make it to a meeting a few weeks ago. It wasn’t due to a schedule conflict where I had made arrangements ahead of time, or a sick kid who needed tending to, or even an accident or emergency that prevented me from attending at the last minute. Oh no, nothing quite so noble. I woke up at 8:10 am for a meeting that started at 8:00 am, horrified that I had over slept and was not at my post to lead the meeting! Through sleep filled eyes and a foggy brain, I frantically texted the leadership team to alert them of my situation (as if they hadn’t already noticed I wasn’t there).

As I began waking up I tried to figure out what happened. Well, somehow the “weekend” button on top of my alarm clock was engaged, essentially disabling my alarm even though I set it as usual. I felt foolish, even stupid, and began berating myself for allowing this to happen, causing me to miss the meeting. How could I let this happen? I am usually so responsible and dependable.

How do you handle it when you make a mistake? Do you view it as a chance to learn and make changes in your life? Or do you use your mistakes as an opportunity to devalue yourself, to confirm what you already knew – “I’m such an idiot.” “I can’t do anything right!” “I’m such a klutz.” These statements are what we psychology folk call negative self talk. Often we aren’t even aware of how we talk to ourselves, but this type of thinking can lead to feeling depressed, anxious, or irritable.

Making mistakes is a part of life, unless you are Jesus and walk on water.
Do you give yourself permission to make mistakes? Are you so afraid of making a mistake, you won’t try new things? After all, if you are doing something for the first time, you really don’t know what you are doing, right? So there is a pretty good chance you will make some mistakes.

Since opening Perkins Counseling & Psychological Services, I have made some significant blunders in running the business. Some have cost me money, some have “just” cost me a few nights sleep. In any case, I have learned a lot from my mistakes. In fact, I think I actually learn more when I screw something up! When things go wrong (whether it is due to my mistake or not) I have begun referring to these painful events as, “Tuition in the school of life.”

We are willing to pay to learn; whether it’s tuition for college, payment for CEU’s or seminars, or traveling for a special conference. So, don’t get so upset when mistakes happen. It costs to learn, so make a mistake and go learn something!

Warm regards,

Dr. Pam