Making mistakes! Rule 3 under the guidance of an ancient Sanskrit's ''The Rules for Being Human'' states, ''There are no mistakes, only lessons.'' It further explains, ''Growth is a process of trial and error, experimentation. The 'failed' experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately works.''
How do each of us define mistakes? How do we experience mistakes? Mistakes come in many forms, sizes. What is critical here reasons how we grow mind-body-spirit from mistakes. Mistakes are in the eye of the beholder. What life lessons are set up for us to learn once we make a mistake?
Hanging on my office wall is a sign with a saying that makes clients chuckle. The saying says, ''All men make mistakes, married men find out about them sooner.'' I need to elaborate on the chuckle part. Men generally chuckle, women bellow. Yes, I know my fellow brethren ... the truth hurts. We mess up; our wives (partners) might be the sort to take advantage of the moment to point out our mistakes. Herein lies a key component that can potentiate a broad range of responses from laughter to extreme emotional outbursts or worse yet.
Now, we all know (for the brave at heart who will admit it) that mistakes are made ... small ones, big ones, anything in between. There are two critical factors to determine that we messed up somehow and equally if not of greater value and benefit derives from our own true experience. ''Yes, I made a mistake,'' versus volatile words or worse. Being defensive is our impulse response, my brethren; however, it merely digs a proverbial hole deeper for us.
So, for those of us who flounder in the morass, that is, we keep making mistakes especially the same ones over and over again, we are faced with really being stuck. Oh, my!
What we are faced with at most any time is an opportunity to grow, mind-body-spirit. Once we identify the emotions that contribute to staying stuck, getting defensive, we can direct ourselves out of the muck by being more mindful, more focused and attentive to our mistakes. Think of the possibilities ... Our awareness of defensiveness and posturing provides in time, evolve to raise our consciousness. So, in short, a mistake is pointed out (works great when spoken and directed out of love) and we realize the gift we have been accorded to grow, to get unstuck.
When we are able to do so, particularly when the mistakes are small, relatively speaking, we can grow in healthy ways before the mistakes loom large and hostility abounds. Growth can still occur, however, you might need assistance, direction from a mental health professional.