The biggest mistake an athlete can make is to be afraid to make one. – L. Ron Hubbard
Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. – John Wooden
Are you one of those who believe that being ‘right’ is the secret of success? Do you hold back from doing something because you fear you may be wrong? Have you ever experienced a twinge of regret that you did not take the risk which worked out so well for another?
If you have answered ‘yes’ to any one of these questions, then you must continue to read this.
Mistakes are feared because we have been conditioned to believe that perfection is the road to success and happiness. This obsession with perfection has caused breakdowns, collapses, depression, suicide and enraged murder. Teenagers feel belittled every time they slip up, youngsters are terrified of reprimand, and adults prefer to compromise with mediocrity rather than risk mistakes.
Each time we have erred, we are sure that tongues wag behind our backs, that jeers are directed our way, and that, all in all, we are labeled ‘failure’. This deep fear in adults is transmitted to children, whose ability to make choices appropriate for them, is stifled at the slightest danger of a mistake. Through our words, we teach them that ‘a mistake is a stepping stone to success’, but by precept we ensure that they believe that the only choice is the ‘right’ one – or else there is punishment and chastisement. This effectively removes from them the joy of discovery and attainment, as they are consistently burdened by the fear of failure.
Let us encourage ourselves (and our children) to focus upon the joy of the process of trial and error. Let us learn (and teach) that knowing what not to do is as important as knowing what to do.
The ultimate prize is not won by the one who gets it right, but by the one who persevered when he got it wrong. Destiny is not the chain that you are bound by for the rest of your life. Destiny is what you choose to write moment to moment. No action or word of yours can ever be wrong, for even when its consequence is not what you desire, you learn a vital lesson about the traps to avoid in future. No goal oriented actions need to be feared for they lead to fulfillment, directly or indirectly.
If you do not walk on the road for fear of the pitfalls, you shall not reach your destination. If crossroads and detours create inaction, you will delude yourself into believing that the small life you lead is the one you truly want.
Every mistake opens a door to a new possibility, and invites you to embrace a greater potential. Mistakes take you onwards to dizzying heights, leaving the lower rungs to those who did not dare to fail. Indecisiveness often leads to the absence of conscious decision, and brings to your door the threat of a self-serving decision made by another.
Your fear of mistakes is the cause of the suppression you face; your perceived threat of failure the cause of mediocrity and subservience. The mistake of one moment can be well-written over in the next, if you proudly hold the pen that writes your destiny.
Make a choice today. Play safe and be smaller than your dreams, or make a mistake, and Win.