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?