Mistakes or Opportunities?!

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mistakes or opportunities, dealing with mistakes, handling your mistakes, personal development, motivation
Conscious about a mistake
The Unhelpful thought

I have constantly battled this thought in my mind about a mistake and its underlying opportunity. I’ve been one of the most conscious people at times and wondered if people are watching me; just to see if I make a mistake – talk about being narcissistic :D.

If they are, what are they thinking about me?

Will they make fun of me?

Will I think lose respect?

Does it mean that I will be considered stupid, dimwitted, careless…

………………….and plenty of other adjectives which I can think of.

The Helpful Thought

There have also been times where I have thought – well people have better things to do. I am not that important for them to worry about or being watchful all the time. These thoughts are further strengthened by another feeling –

If it is not that big for them, why is it big for me?

This is the first time I am doing it, stakes are low, let me do this anyway.

I will be better the next time – when it actually matters and the stakes are high

All through this, I will be slightly better and not make the silly mistakes because I am better trained. And that is a thought of relief.

The Juggle

I feel that I constantly circle back and forth between these two feelings and sometimes, I am not even sure which thought is running on my mind. I know that the second one helps me, but the first one is the subconscious cultural training. The second one is trained learning.

I suppose many of us go through these battles in our mind, especially when we are trying to learn a new skill, develop a new behaviour, tell ourselves that we are experts at something we have just started.

A better way to look at it? 

Perhaps there is a better way to look at it –

accept that you are an amateur

accept that you are bound to make a few mistakes,

but also know that you are doing something incredible, you are defeating a behaviour which is holding you back,

own up to that simple mistake – more importantly, own up to the results of it.

You will not be an expert at the first go, just jump in, do it anyway. You will get better, you will do better -> This is the natural progression. 

Loved this video below from Goalcast about mistakes and opportunities, maybe that will add some more thoughts to what I am trying to say. I would be wrong to say that this is what you have to do, I think it is always a thought in progress, our thoughts are always very precious. It is nice to know where they come from, whether they help us or not. And if they don’t, what can we do to make them serve us?

3 thoughts on “Mistakes or Opportunities?!

  1. Good one, Vinay!

    Sometimes, we take the things in a healthy way. What about the unhelpful thought that comes due to someone’s discouraging words? What are your thoughts on this?

    1. Hi Sindhu, that is a very valid question. It is a thought that has constantly baffled me. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be discouraging words, just the thought that someone else is judging me makes me very conscious and uncomfortable.

      The solution that works best for me is a constant reassuring thought that – “I know why I am doing this. It is a work in process, I know where I want to get to and I am here to make mistakes”

      People who offer discouraging words are offering it to the ‘Present Us’ and not what we are going to be. So, their words in a way lose validity sometimes and gives me a bit of peace. And some other times, a good fight is not a bad thing at all to keep some people in their place and not let them trample all over us.

      It is indeed a tough one I think, but I guess – the priority is yourself and what you are willing to do to get to the goal you want to. The rest I suppose works itself around.

      1. Thanks a lot for this reply, Vinay 🙂 I am happy I asked this only to get to know about such motivating thoughts.

        I have felt similarly many times as you mentioned – “Just the thought that someone else is judging me makes me very conscious and uncomfortable.”

        I like the way you said to deal with such situations with your confident approach.

        Yes, I feel the same, if we tie ourselves to the goal firmly, no criticism can shake us.

        Had a positive time talking to you! Thank you , Vinay 🙂

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