“What if I fall? Darling, what if you fly?!” Picture the darling girl flying, birds harmoniously chirping, colorful flower petals flawlessly floating all around…*record skipping, crashing sound* she falls!!
What now? Disillusion sets in.
You certainly have encountered this quote before in many places all over the internet, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and blogs upon blogs upon blogs, even potentially seen it on products like t-shirts or mugs.
I am probably the only person you will meet who vehemently dislikes this quote and the ones like it.
Don’t get me wrong; it is undoubtedly a pretty sentiment put nicely together with sweet words. The irony is, I might have shared it in the past myself … before it occurred to me that these types of romanticized phrases and the notions behind them, in the long run, generate the opposite effect of what they intend to do: build confidence in taking risks.
For that reason, I don’t want to hang it in my office, I don’t want to wear it on a shirt, I don’t want to drink my tea holding it (okay, maybe that’s a bit extreme, I’ll drink my tea in anything!).
I believe creating a healthy and realistic understanding of taking risks and what that involves is much, MUCH needed in the entrepreneurial world and in motherhood. There is such a thing as a mistake and you should still take those risks regardless.
But that is not the problem, that’s not the thing to avoid. I would even add, that’s part of the good news. Being under the impression of flying blissfully through every cloud decision we make, fosters a warped perspective on what mistakes are, what their purpose is and the general concept of failure.
Making mistakes is natural. It’s part of the deal. Anytime you dare to try anything, you expose yourself to a mistake. An imminent, inevitable — most times — mistake. It’s lurking, it’s preying, and it feeds off of ideas, even the good ones. Yes, some mistakes hurt more than others and require a longer recovery period, but they are still just a card in the deck like all the other ones.
When I finally gathered the courage to stop working for others and decided to start my own business, armed with passion and zeal, I made countless of mistakes. Some of which cost me time; some, the potential of building relationships; and others, money I hadn’t even earned yet. I was so enthusiastic that I felt like I had to ride the wave, fly that magic carpet and attempt to make all my dreams for Reverie Lane Designs happen — immediately.
Well, such hastiness, as you can imagine, easily fogs one’s judgment and causes mistakes after mistakes. Run a giveaway on Instagram when you have less than 500 followers … launch an online shop with no mailing list, no business friends yet, no free time allocated to promotion, and no experience in the field whatsoever … just to name a couple of my early ones.
Running a giveaway and launching an online shop are not mistakes in themselves; it’s the way I did them, the timing that caused the mistake.
As a mother, I must make a mistake, a wrong decision or simply lose my cool daily. I feel unfit and unworthy in those moments of being in charge of loving and raising my kids, but I don’t stop there. I cry it off if needed, grab a glass of wine and go quickly apologize to my little loves. Find my triggers for future instances and learn from the wrong turns I took.
See, I believe a mistake is an action that hopefully causes you to come to this realization: “Well, that was a doozy, and I wasn’t my best there,” and then lead you to ask yourself or an expert, “How could I have done this better and what do I do to fix the damage?”
I have learned to see my mistakes as a mean to an end, a tool to a goal, a necessary storm to the sunny days. You know those tremendously loud, heart-accelerating booms that come with fireworks? I keep telling my kids, “Without the loud sounds there wouldn’t be enough power generated to show the pretty colors of the fireworks up in the sky.” Similarly, without mistakes, you would still have many unanswered questions preventing you from reaching your goals or becoming who you aim to be.
I am convinced “some of the best lessons we ever learn are learned from past mistakes. The error of the past is the wisdom and success of the future.” (Dale Turner)
Today, thanks to my earlier mistakes in business, I know how and when to run a successful giveaway on Instagram. I know that I am capable of launching an online shop (which was really the big proof I wanted when I did it) when I have the time and space for it. I would still be doubting and questioning myself if I hadn’t made those mistakes. I would have made others undoubtedly and have made many other ones of course.
“Achievement seems to be connected with action. Successful men and women keep moving. They make mistakes but they don’t quit.” (Conrad Hilton) Now that’s a quote I’ll have my green Kombucha tea in, haha.
Making a mistake is not failing. Let me repeat it: making a mistake is NOT failing! Failing is not trying again after a mistake. Failing is not learning from that mistake.
And I would want her to know this: “A man [woman] must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.” (John C. Maxwell)
That’s the perfect mother hustler advice, in my opinion.
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