I don’t know about you but for me growing up I came to understand mistakes as bad things. When I got my biology test back and it was covered in red ink, it was the mistakes that caused me to get a bad grade, the mistakes made the red ink dance all over the page. On the basketball court, if I made a mistake at the end of a tight scored game, I could lose the game and even cost the team an attempt at the playoffs or the title. On the basketball court too, I learned to avoid mistakes at all cost.
Given my understanding of mistakes, you can imagine how surprised I was in my 20s when I read something by Seth Godin assuring me that mistakes were ok to make, and not only that, they were good to make and even better to make ‘em fast. This became part of our ethos when I started up a jewelry label with my best friend Ebony in Sydney; Be confident to make decisions, be prepared to learn from the mistakes, be able to take the blame, call them mistakes and really look at them to see where you went wrong. And the real kicker for us???
MAKE MISTAKES FAST.
Sounds a bit cray-cray right? The thing is, when you’re starting a business, working towards a goal or trying something new (be it in business or in life), by making mistakes fast, you come to find out what actually works much faster than playing it safe, avoiding taking action or simply being too afraid to unpack the mistake to see what went wrong.
I’ve lived the past 5 years being cool with mistakes, even at times being friends. And recently I learned another building block to tack on to our relationship with mistakes…And it’s a doozy! The light bulb moment was this: After you or some force around you makes a mistake, there is a moment where you get to choose if you forgive that mistake and move right on by, looking at the lesson, recollecting your energy, growing from it and being set free. OR you can choose to not forgive, be it you, someone else or something external. When you don’t make the choice to forgive, you leave part of yourself in that scenario. As you go through life not choosing to forgive after each mistake, you are leaving your energy all over the map and slowly but surely depleting yourself and your energy, keeping yourself stuck as a victim, dwelling in fear.
Given the goodness that comes from forgiving after mistakes, I invite you to do a meditation or do some writing in your journal;
What do you forgive yourself for? What do you forgive another for?
Write them all down and be open to forgive, let go and get your energy back. I’m thinking you probably know other ways that energy can be invested in something way better! If you do find yourself struggling with a situation to forgive, make it clear that you want to forgive and keep coming back to it. Try writing yourself a letter about the forgiveness and why you are choosing to let go and take back your energy and love.
Forgiveness can’t change the past, that has already been observed,
but it can change the future!