Life is a series of mistakes and failures……
Those who seemingly flow through life making it look easy, have often fallen the most and probably made a lot of bad lifestyle choices first.
Making mistakes really is part of life, sometimes we make the same mistakes again and again but eventually if and when we become more conscious of ourselves, we can evolve from them and use them to our advantage. Mistakes are simply a situation, or choice, or a blip in our lives that didn’t turn out quite how we thought it would, but we didn’t realise it at the time. Mistakes can be our best teachers in order for us to become a more rounded, wiser and happier person. The way I see it is that life is constantly unfolding in to a newer version of our own reality, in other words, as we mature, if we choose to learn from our mistakes and see things differently, then we are choosing to become more enlightened beings.
My children are 22 and 23 and I am watching them now as young adults going through the same things that I did at their age and sometimes not making wise lifestyle choices. However much as I want to advise them, instead, I am trying my utmost to be a cool parent and not be over protective or controlling. Whether it’s their career, their love life, their friends or the state of their bank account, I maybe smile knowingly and give a philosophical opinion, but I don’t interfere. They have to experience and process life first hand for themselves, otherwise, how are they going to learn, develop and make their own way in the world. I want my kids to thrive and flourish into mature adults that do not fear failure and making mistakes.
I was having this same conversation with a friend the other evening and we were saying that we would love to go back to our younger selves (perhaps when we were in our early 20’s), but with our more mature wiser minds…….The conversation became quite silly and playful as we created some very funny scenarios in our heads and we did laugh, but after a while we both had to question whether we could actually do it. After much debate, we decided that it would be nice to be in our younger and more able bodies but that it would be a struggle to go back and re-live life in the fast lane……therefore we would just revisit for a long weekend rather than a year or more……….
I’ve had my fair share of failures; I’ve felt irresponsible, I’ve felt ashamed, I’ve felt guilty, I’ve felt fearful, I’ve felt imperfect, I’ve felt embarrassed, I’ve felt sorry for myself and all because of things that I’ve said, bad judgements, choices and decisions that I have made in my life and still do, but thankfully, not nearly so often these days. Although, I have absolutely no regrets. On introspection, I wouldn’t swap any of it for the world now, because it’s all made me who I am today. One of the greatest lessons I have learnt from making mistakes is forgiveness, with every mistake, I’ve learnt how important it is to move on, let it go and to forgive myself as well as others. Today I can proudly say I am really starting to understand this, I am more conscious, I am more rational, I am more contented and have a much improved, lighter philosophical view of the world.
Making faux pas are part of being human, they don’t mean we are less capable. With each mistake we make, we discover more about ourselves, our limits, our capabilities, as they encourage us to be more compassionate and tolerant both with ourselves, others and the world. We discover that perfection doesn’t really exist and that just trying to do our best on this journey we call life is enough.
I often tell my yoga students that their mat, is their classroom, we are learning about how to pay attention, open and align our bodies but also how to align and open our minds. Our minds after all are often the biggest hurdle, can we be open to failure and if at first we don’t succeed then can we back off, sit with it, process it, learn from it and then try again, perhaps with a different alignment and mindset. At each attempt of the pose, we can observe our reactions again and again and gain insight from the experience, it’s all about practice – just like life. Yoga poses give us time to practice making decisions, learning and applying feedback while holding ourselves accountable with compassion for the trying. The more we allow ourselves to experiment on the mat, the easier it becomes to take risks in our life off the mat. Ultimately, yoga teaches us to be comfortable with discomfort.
Mistakes are actually lessons in disguise, they can help us combat our greatest fears, live with fewer regrets, be less judgemental of ourselves and others and most importantly, they teach us not to give up at the first sign of failure.
So my advice is – let yourself off the hook when you make mistakes. Apologise, forgive, let it go, do whatever you have to do so that you can pick yourself back up, dust yourself down and say – ‘oh well, I resolve to evolve’
‘Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes’. – Oscar Wilde
Love B xx