Gifts From Mistakes

“OK, I admit it…I made a mistake.”

Ever say that (even to yourself)? Say it recently? I’ve found myself having a couple of these head-and-heart numbing realizations over the last few weeks, and it’s never easy. Instinctually I want to fight it…fight the idea that I’ve derailed or wasted time, money, effort and/or emotional brain-power on something–be it a person, thing, or situation–that was ultimately for naught when the better part of valor would have been to “cut my losses” and get out.

Call me nostalgic, an optimist, my husband would probably call me a doormat, although I prefer “softie.” I do believe a situation can turn around at the last minute, I believe in “the triumph of the human spirit,” that we can rise above circumstance when the desire, support and ambition is in the right proportion. Essentially, it’s the common idea that good energy–like love–conquers all things (including most of the bad stuff). That’s not to be confused with being a romantic, which I am not–just ask the aforementioned husband.

But this is not so, at least not usually. Love, although an important thing, isn’t the only thing that matters (see, I told you I wasn’t a romantic). It’s a rare (and precious–so when you find one hold on to it) gem that can overcome difficult circumstance…volley obstacles even if potential is there. It’s one of those baffling statistics, like the one that says most humans use only 10% of their brains, and I often ask myself: why if it’s possible isn’t it probable?

I still don’t have that answer, sorry. I’m very good at identifying potential and talent–and in my professional life, it’s something I’m quite good at. I strongly believe in the power of mentorship and freely giving what has been given to you, in putting out into the world what it is that you wish to receive whether that is information, opportunities, attention or advancement. Early on in my career, I was given some unsolicited advice from a well-meaning colleague about “developing an edge” but eventually realized–good or bad–that’s just not my style. I think I’m doing OK anyway and I still like who I see in the mirror.

So what now? A small part of me wishes I had more gruff in my personal life–possessing the ability to cash out before I’m left feeling just shy of emotionally bankrupt, puzzled or sad or (worse) angry–but the other part of me says no! In the same way that professionally it’s not my style, personally it isn’t either and I think that’s a good thing, for the most part. I’ve encountered more life, love and blessings this way than I would have otherwise…even if this means I’ve also encountered more heartbreak than may have been necessary. I think you learn through risk and you grow by conquering fear.

The gifts from MY mistakes:
I don’t have the same fear and shame after I make them… I can spot them earlier (they say if you’re going to fail, fail fast)… and sometimes, I don’t even make the same ones more than once (or twice).

Related Links:
Offerings: A New Category
A Lesson In Graciousness
Dear Me: A Gift To A Younger Self
Crossroads Offerings

Lead Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /


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