Make Mistakes

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” ~ Neil Gaiman

I tend to be an anxious person and as a result, trying new things can be terrifying. Why? I can’t predict the outcome and it makes me feel out of control. (Lack of control is like jet fuel for anxiety.)

At the same time, both my professions (psychiatry and writing) DEMAND I try new things. 

All. The. Time.

What’s a girl to do?

At some point along the way (I don’t remember when, but it must’ve been in med school), I realized I had to learn how to go with the flow. Perhaps being constantly thrown into new situations had something to do with it…the whole sink or swim thing is pretty dang powerful.  Plus, worrying about something doesn’t change the outcome, but it sure makes the journey a lot more stressful. With that in mind, I try to embrace new things and roll with change. 

I’m not always successful. Hence the making mistakes. And sometimes anxiety gets the better of me (usually in the form of avoidance). So when I come across quotes like the one above, I pay special attention to it. It’s a reminder. A form of cheerleading, if you will. An excuse to put myself out there.

Because really, mistakes aren’t necessarily bad. I’ve survived all my mistakes. And while it’s not fun to make them, I’ve learned something from them. 

How about you? Do you make mistakes? Do you embrace them? Are they valuable to you?

5 comments on “Make Mistakes

  1. I’m pretty risk adverse, so I try to learn from my mistakes. Even more, I try to roll with the trouble I cause myself. 🙂

    Right now, life is stressful enough without my doing anything to make it worse. The plan is to make all my mistakes in my writing, where I have a chance at fixing them, even if it’s only in the next book.

  2. ‘Lack of control is like jet fuel for anxiety.’ Gosh, do I understand that one. It’s a big reason I’ve melted away from the blogosphere since my agent break-up in December. The whole process just felt so beyond my control. I’m hoping to refuel myself this summer and find the courage to plunge back into the whole publishing world in the fall.

    The one thing I’ve consistently told my kids is: A mistake is never a mistake unless you don’t learn from it. Making mistakes teaches us about the world, our world, and ourselves. It’s a necessity. Now, to convince my writer self … 😉

  3. Vicki Tremper says:

    Oh, mistakes. I don’t like making them, but I try to if not embrace them, at least take responsibility from them and learn from them to move forward. Not easy.

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