In June 2015 we began to regularly post "Wellness Notes" consisting of reflections, research, questions, observations, and much more. Nothing in this newsletter is meant to be medical advice. Please consult you own healthcare provider for any questions or issues concerning you own health status. Meanwhile, read, learn, ask your own questions, and live well. ~daniel rondeau, vicar
Are you moving forward?
By Callie Wight, MA, RN
June 9, 2015
June 9, 2015
If you’re like me, I bet you’ve heard the saying, “trial and error”, a hundred times. And that other favorite saying that always seemed to me to be loaded with buckshot, “At least learn from your mistakes!”
Throughout our lives we have been warned to avoid mistakes. A mistake is failure. “A miss is as good as a mile”. “Get it right”. “Don’t make a fool of yourself”. Most of our lives we are graded, evaluated, our failings listed out for us. "Wrong", "mistake", "failure”, words that hurt, impacting many of us for life.
Now, I do believe strongly in the importance of getting certain things right. As a health care professional, psychotherapist and coach, there are many important actions I do not want to mess up, especially when people's lives, or feelings are at stake. Most folks I know feel the same. Throughout each day we strive to get things right, be mistake-free, succeed.
But the human brain is designed to learn through experimenting. In other words, not getting it right all the time is how we learn!
To perform a task perfectly is a great thing and feels pretty good. However, we probably didn’t learn much that time. To learn, grow, develop, we need to try things out; to see what happens. If I do this then…what? Yikes! Or Fantastic!
Too much emphasis on errors, failures and mistakes can undermine self-esteem, self-confidence. Even stimulate feelings of shame, fearfulness and inadequacy. These feelings block our ability to try things out, to learn, grow and develop.
By reflecting on our experiences and then affirming and celebrating our strengths and victories, we create the confidence to improve, to keep moving forward. So how about if we change our old sayings to something new like “trial and learn”; “trial and grow”; “trial and change”? Let’s try and just see what happens.
Without those “mistakes’’ there is no learning.
Callie Wight, MA, RN