In my current culture, there are NO Mistakes!
How many times did you think of your previous decisions as mistakes?
How long do you spend ruminating over your "mistakes" wishing you said or reacted differently?
First time I heard that there are no mistakes, I was puzzled. I was in the room with 32 other phenomenal coaches sitting in a circle when Frank uttered those words:
“There are no mistakes!”
I kept going over my mistakes and calling myself on each and every one of them. How about when I was disrespected by my supervisor and yet I stayed and tolerated his actions for years in the same position? How about when I rejected a job offer and instead stayed loyal to a team that later isolated me? Or the time that I told a great friend to stop moaning about not knowing English and go ahead and learn it which resulted in a loss of that friendship altogether? Or when I was fired because of asking for a raise at my illegal position earning $5.25/hr? Or when I rejected the option to get my permanent residency through seeking social asylum by changing my religion which cost me 10 years of hard work, low pay, and not being able to attend brother's wedding?
I always thought, In all those instances I made a mistake and it was my fault! I took a tremendous level of responsibility and guilt for every single decision I made. How could I make such big mistakes? How could I allow myself to impact others lives because of my bad choices?! Even though I had apologized where needed, course corrected when I was faced with similar events, internally I was heavily charged around my “mistakes”.
"I was not good with making decisions!" I said to myself many times. Result? I rarely made decisions... I surrendered my power of choice
Once I was done judging myself and counting my mistakes, my mind shifted back to the room and I saw the chart that Frank was busy drawing. “Here is you right now and here is what happened in the past. If you were here (pointing to the past) and you had all the information and emotions you had at the time and nothing of what you know now, would you still make the same decision?” Frank asked. I was silent but from within I was screaming YES! YES! YES! I would have done the same things all over again. Just like an erupting volcano, I was releasing all the judgment, negativity, and energy as a result of my internal pressure.
How would I know my integrity will be responded with isolation and disrespect? How could I suspect that my best friend can get upset over an honest opinion? How could I predict that a manager would feel threatened by an illegal worker? How would I know my immigration path would be so long and tedious?
Thinking back, all those pains had resulted in making me a stronger and a more resilient person.
They were not "mistakes" but "opportunities" for growth.
Suddenly, there was a weight lifted off my shoulders! I was not constantly making mistakes, instead, I was continually making the best decisions that I could with the knowledge that was available to me. Right there I blurred out of the room again and for few minutes went over most my “mistakes” and I accepted and forgave myself. Some would need more internal work and I knew it.
In less than a year, I was peaceful with all my MISTAKES! Now, I know my awareness is ever changing and so will my decisions. With that in mind I will always make the best decisions based on my knowledge. My decisions are made with power of knowledge and choice. All I need to work on is to expand my knowledge and awareness so that there are more choices available to me at any given time.
My internal message now? "I am resourceful and capable of making best decisions at any given time!"
This was one of many Empowering conversationZ I had with myself! Forgiving myself for my past decisions opened me up to look at other people’s “Mistakes” the same way. I am forever more accepting and loving toward myself and others as I could ever be. You see the benefit?
Now bring your pen out...
Write some of your mistakes.
What would you like to accept and forgive yourself for?
With this view on “mistakes”, what were some opportunities for growth?
How would that impact your life?
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By: Mehran Sorourian
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image of messy dog is property of http://www.1zoom.me/de/wallpaper/526561/z5945.3/2048x2732