Horray for mistakes, they change us
I had a blast speaking at my University of Minnesota Lambda Delta Phi sorority alumni event this past Saturday. There were 50 amazing women in attendance all sharing the bond of sisterhood, and eager to hear my transformation story and get tips on how to put themselves in the center of their equation. The energy and emotion in the room was palpable.
One of the principles that I shared in my speech is how making mistakes — slipping and falling — is a key part of the process or journey. In fact, one of the most important parts.
It’s what we do when we slip and fall or fail, that really matters to our long-term growth and transformation. For me, this was one of the key differences in why I succeeded this time where I had not so many other times. This time, I went “all in” and I picked myself up to restart every time I stumbled. But I also recognize that all those other failed attempts were indeed part of the same journey, and a key part of my story.
Making mistakes, stumbling, even failing over and over again takes us to a place where we learn what we’re made of. It leads us to a place where we have to dig deep to pick ourselves back up, ask what lesson we’re supposed to take away, and then restart. I argue it is how we react to and process those deep valleys (not the peaks) that almost always makes us better, stronger, and more appreciative of our personal growth. The key, is to learn to recognize this pattern, embrace it and not beat yourself up when you slip, fall or fail. That’s the hard part, right?
This point resonated with the women in the room on Saturday. And this morning, as I was reflecting on a great day with my sorority sisters, the first thing I read on my email was this Positively Positive blog titled, “Why Making Mistakes is Actually Good,” by Christine Gutierrez. This is a good one and right on point, so I share it here.
My favorite part of the blog is this: “Making mistakes is actually just being human. We need them. They lead us to magical places. They lead us to the depths of our psyches and souls. They lead us to our to our shadow sides, and by going to the underworld of the darkness, we rise to the surface with new knowledge and growth. We then appreciate and feel we have earned our growth. We can’t thrive UNLESS we make “mistakes.”
Yep, I believe it. I learned it. I live it. And truth be told, it never stops. We’re learning and growing and transforming every day — if we’re open to it. How many of you can appreciate this point and have gotten better, stronger, wiser as a result of your slips, falls or failures?