The Oops Factor

Growing up, I never left any room for mistakes. I expected myself to do things perfectly and when I didn’t I beat myself up. I continued to set these unrealistic expectations for myself all through my childhood, teens, and adulthood, never giving myself permission to make mistakes. As a result, I continually had a negative narrative running through my head and constantly beat myself up for not being good enough. I used those mistakes to open a door to self-destructive behavior, as an invitation to disregard self-care and as a badge of shame that I was would never improve or get better. All of that thinking was not true, I made it true by not sharing my truth with others, and by believing the negative voices in my head that told me it was the truth. I almost rode that train all the way into the station, but luckily got off before it’s final stop. The truth is, our mistakes are where we learn the most, and where we build the character and stamina needed to achieve the goals we want to in life. No one is meant to get it right every time, the learning is in the mistake, and we all need to allow ourselves to incorporate the oops factor in your daily life.

Not allowing yourself to make mistakes, even when we may know better, is like setting yourself up for failure. When I was younger, if I didn’t or couldn’t do things perfectly, which is subjective anyway, I would use that to fuel my self-hatred. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy, I would set unrealistic expectations and when I couldn’t reach them I would tear myself down, and I continued to do this over and over throughout most of my life. Even when I did succeed it was never good enough, I would always find something wrong or disappointing about my achievement, never fully allowing myself to enjoy it. That thinking made me feel insecure and less than, which made relationships often difficult as I was constantly in fear of being found out for the fraud I thought I really was. When I finally surrendered and asked for help, I was taught that it was OK to make mistakes, in fact, it was probably a good sign that I was making them because it meant I was trying new things, and even if things didn’t work out the way I wanted them to, there was always a lesson, learning or growth to take from those experiences, which, may have been the point in the first place. Sometimes the reason we think we should do something isn’t really the reason we are meantto be there. This has proven to be true in my life many times over. For me, I just trust that I am exactly where I am supposed to be and do what seems like the next right thing. We have no control over the results of our actions, only the actions themselves, so we set out with the right intentions and then stay out of the way of the results, and, no matter what the result ends up being, it’s always a win, just the fact that we’ve tried is a win and will always produce a reward.

We all are entitled to make mistakes, in fact, we should be making them. Allow yourself to include the oops factor in your life and when a mistake is made, learn to take the positive out of it, or, just laugh it off as part of life. When we can look at the lighter side of life and can let go of the restraints we may have on ourselves to be something we are not we can focus on changing our perspective on what perfect is for us, and maybe being just as you are right now is perfect for today. Allow yourself to use your mistakes to make you better. SLAY on!

SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you leave room for mistakes in your life or do you expect yourself to be perfect? How do you react when you make a mistake? How does this help you? How does this harm you? What can you do to let go of your mistakes and focus on the lesson? How can you learn to let go of the belief that you need to be perfect? What can you do today to start changing your attitude about the mistakes you make? What have you learned from past mistakes? We all have an oops from time to time, it’s what makes us human, give yourself some room to trip or fall, and get back up without beating yourself up.

S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you

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