We all start life as kids. If there is one thing about kids that is outstanding, it would be their resolve to make mistakes. Children are curious creatures. They love to experiment and to learn new things.
They would bother you with questions till you get exhausted. All this begins to change as children grow, get cultured in society, and “schooled”.
They learn that making mistakes is bad. The thinking that making mistakes is bad is on the other side bad for curiosity.
Interestingly, most successful people would advise young people to make mistakes early in their lives. Don’t take my word for it. Here are some famous statements on the topic of making mistakes and failing early on in life.
“Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating.” — Elon Musk
Elon Musk takes a bold opinion. He not only believes we need to make mistakes, but he also believes making mistakes is a part of innovation. In our world of constant change, being able to adapt and innovate is fast becoming a survival skill. Elon Musk says making mistakes is a part of it.
The Fear of Failure is Deadly and Stagnating
The terror about failure and mistakes is that, once we are taught that it’s a bad thing, we learn to fear it as well. Fear paralyses. It stagnates. Growth hardly occurs when there is fear. Growth occurs when there is passion. When there is love, all positive emotions follow, such as curiosity.
A Case for Making Mistakes
Unless you have been living in a cave and shielded from the real world, you should know the world is far from perfect. Things hardly go according to plan. Your detailed plan can go haywire in a few seconds of implementation. Truth is, mistakes are bound to happen. Making mistakes is a part of life. As a baby, you didn’t get your mom’s name “mama” on the first try. You may have tried lots of times before finally cracking the code. If failure and mistakes are a part of life, why must we live in fear? Here’s why you shouldn’t fear making mistakes and failing.
Mistakes Help Us Build Character
True success, I believe, is character building. To be a success, you must become a better person. It isn’t about what you become, but who you become. Success isn’t about how many companies you command or how fat your account is. Success is the person you become. And we aren’t good at building character when all is good and everything goes as planned. Character is built outside your comfort zone. Failure and mistakes test us. They help us build character — emotionally, mentally, attitudinally, and ethically.
“You have to make mistakes to find out who you aren’t. You take the action, and the insight follows: You don’t think your way into becoming yourself.” — Anne Lamott
Mistakes Expand Your Mind and Increase Your Knowledge
Success in doing something lies in knowing enough ways that don’t work in order to know what works. This is particularly why young people need to embrace failure and mistakes. Once they are able to filter what doesn’t work and understand the essence of life, they can live their best lives. Failure will expand your mind by giving you new perspectives and adding to your knowledge.
“Learning by making mistakes and not duplicating them is what life is about.”— Lindsay Fox
I made a video on the importance of learning; the skill of the century. It covers most of my thoughts on learning and why you need to make learning an active part of our life.
We Are Fallible, We Need to Know That
AS an extension to building character, mistakes teach us that we are human. Humans do what they do; make mistakes, learn and grow. Without understanding these basic facts about existence, you might become proud, feel all-powerful especially after some success then become arrogant. As the adage goes, pride comes before a fall. Making mistakes humbles us. It teaches us there is more to know in this infinite universe we exist in.
As you can see, failure is not just an inconvenience, it is part of life. The person who avoids mistakes will only be avoiding the numerous benefits it brings. In shielding themselves from mistakes, they may feel fear and never amount to much. If you take the understanding that failure is sometimes inevitable, accept and plan accordingly, you stand a far better chance than being paralysed by the fear of failure.
As you step out every day, do what you need to do. But know that, you are only responsible for your actions: you cannot control the results.
This post was written by Enoch W. Kabange
Enoch W. Kabange is a passionate fellow who sees the best in every situation. He is the Founder of Wordinspired Media, a personal development brand, and Alien Media. Alien Media helps businesses and brands create digital assets which can deliver them higher visibility and enable them to grow like never before.
Enoch is a Digital Marketer, Brand Strategist/Consultant, and a Content Writer.
His mission is to inspire millions of people to become entrepreneurs and to pursue their passions by motivating them to the greatness that resides within them.