I’ve had this topic come up a lot lately- the feeling of failure, of feeling as if everything you do cannot be undone. As if there will not be a way to move forward without immense amounts of emotional torment.
I wonder when we created this mindset of do or die. We put this unattainable mentality on ourselves that if we cannot fully and always succeed that we are a failure. We pretend that mistakes and failures are the same thing, and we blame ourselves for all of it. We pretend as if mistakes can’t be made and made well.
Mistakes and failures are different, very different, and they can be explained quite simply. Failure is your unwillingness to continue. It is when you do something or something happens to you and you throw in the towel. It is you saying you can’t when there is always a chance that you can.
Mistakes, on the other hand, are opportunities in disguise. They come to us masked as things we messed up on and ways we can hate ourselves, when really they are meant to teach us how to be better. They are meant to teach us how to be stronger. They teach us how to survive.
Mistakes can be massive or tiny or glorious or horrible, but our choice to learn from them is what keeps them as mistakes and annihilates their hope of becoming failure. Mistakes are inherently human, but let’s leave them as what they are. They are not something to continually carry with you and pile one on top of the other- they are meant to happen and then morph into an opportunity to learn.
Understand that, though uncomfortable for a minute, mistakes are the things that help push us on. We cannot carry the weight of them for long, as they become quite heavy, but we can appreciate the emotional muscles they build while we hold them. Mistakes can become the lessons that build us into who we are.
We should lean into the uncomfortable nature that surrounds them. They represent growth in its rawest form, in its most gutted nature. They are the beginning to a better and brighter you.
Embrace your mistakes, embrace the opportunities you get when you make them, and then choose to move on and keep that growth with you. They are sometimes painful but often necessary chances to be a better version of yourself- don’t waste that chance when you get it.
Accept the discomfort, allow yourself to grow through your own mistakes- and then shed them as you continue on.
After all, they truly aren’t meant to stick around. Their only purpose is to teach; your only option is to learn.