The Ericksons

M is for: Don’t Be Afraid of Making a Mistake


Making a Mistake

Throughout my childhood, and even in my teenage years, I was brave. I lettered in drama by the end of my sophomore year in high school. I was in every play, on the speech team, the debate team, and even the captain of our mock trial team. Then, I went on to art school where I focused on literary art. I was never afraid of failure or making a mistake.

Now, I often play it safe, because I’m afraid of making a mistake. I’m not sure why I get so hung up on it, because I’m not the kind of person that takes myself too seriously.

So, what happened?

I really have no idea. I think it has something to do with the things my ex-husband said to me to put me in my place and make me feel about 2 inches tall.  It was during those years that I changed. I became afraid.

What if making a mistake was nothing to fear?

In truth, making a mistake—even (maybe especially) if it’s an embarrassing one, isn’t a bad thing. It can often open you up to more authentic relationships. Check out this TED Talk by Brene’ Brown to find out why.

The A to Z Blogging Challenge

A to Z Blogging ChallengeI’m doing double duty this month during the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Here at Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker, I will share ideas for “Thinking Creatively.” I’ll also be doing the challenge at Facing Cancer with Grace, where I will focus on “Avoiding Burnout.” I hope you’ll visit me at both sites. While you’re here, sign up for my email list. Today’s post is, M is for Don’t Be Afraid of Making a Mistake.

What I want most

As a writer, a mother, a wife, a human being, I want to have that vulnerability, that courage. Sometimes I regret that I’ve lost that somewhere along the way. It’s sad that I can’t even answer these questions:

  • How could you think big, but act small?
  • How could you fail fast to learn rapidly?
  • And what’s the worst that could happen anyway?

Yet, I’ve come a long way in the last 10 years. A LONG way! I guess I still have a long way to go. Perfectionism is so paralyzing. The fear of making a mistake is a huge stumbling block to creativity and innovation. Yet, the humble Post-It Note was a concept that originated from a bad batch of glue.

Think about a problem you want to solve.

  • How could you think big, but act small?
  • How could you fail fast to learn rapidly?
  • And what’s the worst that could happen anyway?

How about you? Are you comfortable being vulnerable even if it means you might make a mistake? Share in the comment section, below.

What Are YOUR Thoughts?

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About Heather EricksonThe Ericksons

I am an author, writer, and speaker and homeschooling mom of 3. Since doctors diagnosed my husband, Dan with stage IV lung cancer in 2012, I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, in spite of their illness. My goal is to help people face cancer with grace. My books are available at Amazon.com:

The Memory Maker’s Journal 

Facing Cancer as a Friend: How to Support Someone Who Has Cancer

Facing Cancer as a Parent: Helping Your Children Cope with Your Cancer

I also blog about living with cancer at Facing Cancer with Grace.

Have any questions or comments? I would love to hear from you! By commenting, you agree to the terms of my privacy policy.

2 comments on “M is for: Don’t Be Afraid of Making a Mistake

In class sometimes, I want the students to make a mistake. To ask a weird question. Because sometimes that’s the best way to learn or to explain something.

I still remember the time in a college physics class where the teacher had finished this very long derivation, but at the end she got the wrong answer. She stopped and looked at her work. Found that she had dropped a -2 somewhere near the beginning. Asked us why we hadn’t let her know.

But from that, I remember that it’s okay to make mistakes, even in front of a room of students. Then they know it’s okay, too.

Reply

Hi Liz. It’s such a powerful lesson that you remember it all these years later. I’ve had to apologize to my kids for being wrong a time or two over the years. I often think that those experiences taught them more than all the times I was right (which, let’s face it< is most of the time).

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