Do you Learn From your Mistakes?


Post #67 Mistakes are Essential to Learning

According to Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of a student is a “SCHOLAR, LEARNER.”  How do you suppose one becomes a scholar or a learner?  They fail, they make mistakes, they use poor judgment and they get up to try all over again.  If learning is such a good thing, why beat yourself up over mistakes?  I want you to consider that mistakes are essential to learning.

Failing Ahead of Time

There are instances where we all have given up before trying.  All of us have done this.  I never tried basketball because I was convinced I was going to be a failure.  Singing is another example – I always assumed singing lessons would be futile.  Maybe you also didn’t try a sport, an instrument, a group or a hobby because you knew you would fail.  Why try if you’re going to make yourself look silly?  This is called failing ahead of time.  You cannot fail at something if you never try.  We keep ourselves safe and comfortable by failing ahead of time.  And this practice limits our exposures, our experiences and our learning.  Aren’t we here to learn?

What is a Mistake, Anyway?

Your idea of a mistake is different from mine which is different from somebody else’s idea.  A mistake is a mental label that we choose to assign.  Perhaps you could give a poor speech and label it a mistake.  You could either label it a failure, a learning experience or room for improvement.  All mistakes are your own subjective interpretations of a situation.  You may declare you made a mistake.  Our society tends to think of mistakes as a bad thing.  But are they?

No problem

Why Mistakes are Essential to Learning

Imagine a world where you did everything correctly.  You got all good grades, all relationships were fantastic, your physical health was perfect and you never encountered accidents.  Think about this kind of world and think about how you would not be challenged.  How would you overcome your challenges if there are none?  This is why mistakes are essential to learning.  Without difficulties and hardships there are no challenges; you need challenges to make mistakes.  Without mistakes, there is no learning.  When you make a mistake, it is an indication that you are growing, learning and challenging yourself.  That’s our purpose on earth – to challenge ourselves and constantly evolve into our next versions.

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