Who hasn’t made mistakes in their lives? I know I’ve certainly made my fair share—probably even more!
Here’s the thing I’ve learned about screwing up, royally: While it’s difficult at the time, mistakes are the best learning experiences.
If you didn’t know this about me yet: I’m a single mom and have been since 2004, after six years of marriage. Was my marriage a mistake? Absolutely not. An amazing daughter came out of that marriage, along with some great times. Heartache too, but let’s focus on the positive.
From my marriage (and divorce), I learned how to live with another person and co-parent with someone who doesn’t necessarily hold some of the same beliefs I do. I also learned that I’m a damn strong person who can stand up for myself.
Another fun fact: When I was 18, my parents kindly “allowed” me to take my college money and blow it on finding myself—renting an apartment, buying a truck, having party after party, and doing who knows what else with my entire college fund. For real.
While I paid dearly for my 6 months of fun, the experience opened my eyes to the world and what I did (or, rather, didn’t) want to do with my life. I learned the value of money and what I needed to do to move forward in adulthood. For me, that was going to college in another city.
My definition of a true mistake is hitting “reply all” when I really should have just hit “reply.” Or complaining about my ex via text—and accidentally sending it to my ex, instead of my intended recipient. Been there, done that (more than I care to admit).
As a business owner and a mother, I make mistakes on the daily.
The time I yelled at my daughter because she forgot something at her dad’s house.
When I had to reschedule a call with a client because I forgot to block off time on my calendar to pick my daughter up from school.
That time I forgot to hit “publish” on a client’s blog post and it didn’t go out on time—and the client noticed before me.
In the grand scheme of things, these are all minor. And none of these mistakes will have a lasting impact on my life—my daughter isn’t traumatized and my business isn’t going to go under.
Instead, I learned (or was reminded) of a few things:
Always ask my daughter if she has her…house key, English binder, phone charger (you get the picture) before we leave her dad’s house.
Remember to block time off on my calendar as soon as I know what my schedule is.
Double-check client posts the day before they are supposed to publish.
I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m not perfect, and that I’m a better person, business owner and mom because of it. I’m teaching my daughter that there’s more value in how you react to mistakes than in the mistakes themselves.
There’s no point in obsessing over every last mistake I make in my life. Otherwise, I’d be wallowing in the corner, banging my head against the wall.
Instead, I choose to embrace my mistakes so I can learn from them. That doesn’t mean I’ll never make those mistakes again, but rather go into new experiences with a different mindset—ready to do better the next time around.
And I hope that my daughter is watching closely as I fail, pick myself back up again and start over. Hopefully, that will prevent her from making some of the same mistakes I have. You know, so she can make her own set of mistakes—and handle them well.
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