THE "MISTAKE" CAN BE THE BEST THING EVER
Why Making a Mistake Can Transform Your Life
Do you beat yourself up when you make a mistake? If so, STOP it! That last big mistake could possibly transform your life. Being a recovering perfectionist, I look at making mistakes in a whole new way which has transformed my mindset. The value in a perceived “mistake” can truly become something much different than an event with a less than desired outcome. In fact, that event can actually be a turning point in your life. Typically, perfectionists have dualistic mindsets. Having a dualistic mindset can serve you, but it can also be your nemesis. Mistakes are an event not an identity, if you label yourself as a person that is a mistake maker or even a failure you should consider the effects of dualistic thinking that is preventing a fulfilling life.
WHAT THE HECK IS DUALISTIC THINKING?
What is dualistic thinking? According to Richard Rohr, the dualistic mind is essentially binary, either/or thinking. It knows by comparison, opposition, and differentiation. It uses descriptive words like success/failure, accurate/snafu, smart/stupid, not realizing there may be a hundred degrees between the two ends of each spectrum. We do need the dualistic mind to function in practical life, to perform duties as a teacher, nurse, scientist, or even as an engineer. It’s helpful and fully necessary as far as that goes, but it can be detrimental if you are a black or white thinker that experiences anxiety and self-defeating behaviors when missteps occur.
HOW A MASSIVE MISTAKE TRANSFORMED A MINDSET
A while back I had a client, we’ll call her Jewel, who came to me very stressed out suffering from a loss of confidence and low self-esteem. She was devastated over the consequences of an office affair that had become public. The other person made the details of the affair known after Jewel broke it off with him. This of course created a work environment that was very uncomfortable for her and she left her job of 4 years. Most would agree that having an office affair is not optimal for advancing a career, but we are all human and make mistakes.
It became clear to me that Jewel was a very intelligent woman that wanted to change her life. She had a history of getting attached to unavailable men and wanted the cycle to stop. Being a very attractive woman, she had tried using shear willpower to fend off the advances of men, but gave in, much of the time. Jewel had been a perfectionist and people pleaser most of her life. This had started very early when she would try to be a “good girl” for her often absent father. Throughout our coaching sessions, we determined many attachments had become problematic and a roadblock for her obtaining the very thing that she so desperately wanted. Love!
In the past, Jewel’s dualistic mindset of good/bad, mistakes/success, would have perpetuated her self -defeating mindset. The perception of the office affair had a new meaning after careful meditation and contemplation. In her journey, she had a choice to make. Let a past circumstance further solidify her victimhood or choose to let it propel her to a new mindset.
LASTING CHANGE OCCURS WHEN YOU REFAME YOUR PERCEPTIONS
Was Jewel’s massive snafu really a bad thing? It would be easy to label the affair as a bad thing if you have a dualistic mindset. Is it truly good or bad if the process ultimately gets you to a new reality of your desires and even the meaning of life. I would call her release of certain attachments, grace. It was grace that we were able to work together. It was grace that enabled her to chase after what she truly wanted. Her journey thus far has led her to a deeper meaning of what love is and how she remains true to herself.
BOLDLY EXPRESS YOUR PURPOSE
Defining purpose is challenging and many people never figure it out. Determining where you are now is a vital first step in setting the proper course for your life. Clarify your innermost values and craft a personal mission statement that will become your true north. Gaining this clarity will enable you to uncover what is really important, why it is important and how to boldly express your purpose.