We all make them. But some people, people like me, are incredibly bad at making mistakes.
Perfectionists. And recovering perfectionists. Mistakes make us feel inferior. They fill us with the so-called self-conscious emotions: shame and embarrassment.
When I make a mistake, I get all hot in the face and feel absolute terror. Should I defend myself, explain myself, or better yet, just run for the hills, never to be seen or heard from again?
But we don't have to head for the hills or shrink to the size of an olive. There are ways to get better at embracing mistakes.
Now, I'm not saying we should actively try to mess up. All I'm suggesting is that some of us need to get better at dealing with mistakes when they do inevitably happen.
It's about changing your perspective, changing how you think about and react to mistakes.
Here are 4 games you can play to help you get better at embracing your mistakes.
4 Games to Help with Embracing Mistakes
1. Baby Zoo
There is no better mistake-maker than a child.
Children haven't been socialized to feel shame and embarrassment when they mess up. This means they are unencumbered and take risks and make all kinds of errors.
It's great fun to watch, so the next time your niece or nephew is over, watch and learn.
Be inspired at how children are the ultimate heroes of embracing mistakes.
I'm not the best at arts and crafts, but sometimes they're great at helping us work through some stuff.
Mistake Trees are the perfect craft for gaining a healthier perspective on embracing mistakes.
Take some colored paper, scissors, and glue, maybe some glitter, and create some trees with branches. Label the trunk with a so-called mistake from your past. Maybe the time you peed your pants or lost your wallet.
Then the branches are all the effects of the mistake. Let's go with the pants-peeing example. Maybe you changed your pants and drank less water in the morning.
Then take a step back and look at how you not only survived the mistake, but most likely it wasn't that big of a deal after all.
Because Mistake Trees.
If you're not in the mood for crafting, get some paper out and get ready to write some good old-fashioned words about your mistakes.
Write down as many personal flaws as you can think of.
Brutal. I know.
But this exercise is gonna have a happy ending.
After you jot down your flaws: frizzy hair, overweight, always late...., you're going to put a positive spin on each and every one.
Frizzy hair? At least it's not oily. You spend your time on things besides your looks. It gives you lots of fun options for Halloween.
You get the idea.
I'm not saying you should just accept all your flaws, but I am saying that your flaws are here right now, so you might as well not let them ruin your whole situation.
Next time you see someone make a mistake, I don't want you to ignore it.
We have become a culture of averting eyes. We think we're doing people a favor by pretending we didn't see each other screw up.
But we all mess up. We're human, and that's a big part of the game. So, let's start acknowledging it.
Next time you see someone trip, I want you to see it. Don't be a jerk, but acknowledge and connect.
"I've tripped there, too."
"Are you okay?"
Use people's mistakes as an opportunity to embrace each other's humanity and connect.
Final Thoughts on Embracing Mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes. When we truly accept that, we start to take some of their power away.
So, admit that you make 'em and try to get a healthier perspective on 'em.
Yes, I messed up. No, that doesn't mean anything about me as a person. No, I'm not any less deserving of being truly seen, heard, valued, and appreciated.