Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mistake Anyone?

We are told the best way to learn is to make mistakes..........then why are we always so worried about making them?

I don't like to make a mistake; at least what I call a mistake. Perhaps I was taught 'mistake=failure'.

Fear is probably the main reason we try to avoid making mistakes and we are taught very early on to 'run-for-your-life' when you spot fear.

Oh, the many faces of fear..........

Faced with the dilemma of what to wear Sarah picked the soft baggy sweats and the rodeo t-shirt. Just before she walked out the door though a tap on the shoulder said "What is everyone going to think if you walk in to the party dressed this way?" That little tap on the shoulder came from somewhere deep inside; the place that wonders if the choice Sarah made is the right one or if it is a mistake.........a mistake that might allow other people to pass judgement and 'gossip' about her. In the end fear wins; Sarah decides, even though the sweats are the most comfortable, she will find something else to wear....something others will not point at, pick at, and talk about.

A friend brings a proposal for Simon's consideration; 'to borrow money using his house as collateral' in order to invest in a business venture he and two others are considering. The money will be paid back at a very high interest rate and Simon stands to gain substantial return on his investment including a share in a lucrative business should everything go according to plan. After spending many hours thinking about it fear again wins; Simon decides although he may profit handsomely, there is also the chance he could lose his home if the venture is not successful; he doesn't want to make a mistake that will result in the loss of his house.

Fear......we fear what others think; we fear losing something of value; we fear consequences; we fear being hurt; we fear hurting others; we fear being wrong or feeling embarrassed; we fear that someone is better than we are; we fear the expense of a mistake; we fear failure; we fear the cost in terms of money, lives or injury..........we fear, we fear. So I making mistakes really a good route to learning?

I'm wondering, if it is said that making a mistake is the best way to learn, is it because making a mistake can leave such traumatic results that the person making the mistake can forever be scarred from having made the stupid blunder...............? Of course one won't repeat a mistake like that and it could be said 'you have learned' something from it, but at what cost? Examining all the possibilities we realize sometimes learning can hurt. While it is true, we do learn when we make a mistake.........are there better ways to learn?

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