The beauty of making mistakes (inspired by Paul Arden)


I have a fear of failure and rejection.  Both are totally out of my control and both are unfounded.  But they are two small snags that sometimes have a big effect on my behaviour and mental attitude.

Paul Arden wrote some great books.  One is called "It's not how good you are, it's how good you want to be."  Victoria Beckham once said she wanted to be as famous as Persil Automatic - note that she didn't set her sights on a famous singer but on a household brandname.  And look at her now - she is not only famous as a singer but as a WAG, fashion designer and icon in her own right.

It's not how good you are, it's how good you want to be.
It's not how good you are, it's how good you want to be.

Page 50 reads:


The typo you may have noticed is not mine but belongs to the person who typed up this page for the book.  Her name is Lucinda.  They left her mistake in to prove a point.

Paul Arden's book goes on to say:

Benjamin Franklin said. "I haven't failed, I've had 10,000 ideas that didn't work".
Thomas Edison said, "Of the 200 light bulbs that didn't work, every failure told me something that I was able to incorporate into the next attempt."
Theatre director Joan Littlewood said, "If we never get lost, we'll never find a new route."
All of them understood that failures and false starts are a precondition of success.

Any mistakes I make and failures I experience are a normal part of being human.  In fact, I'd go as far as to say they are a vital part of being human.  So, rather than fear the failure and the rejection that might go with it I choose to embrace my mistakes and failures with a fresh perspective.  

Because that fresh perspective is what makes me a better choice for the next client and the next project and the next opportunity.  It is also what makes me a safe place for someone else to work through their own failures and mistakes.  And finally, it gives others around me the freedom to go ahead and use their initiative because, I hope, any failures or mistakes will be greeted warmly and with encouragement to keep going.

How do you feel when you fail or make mistakes?

How do you respond to service providers or staff who fail or make mistakes?