How to Make Mistakes and Move On – Brenda Ueland
The life lesson: knowing how to make mistakes and move on will make you healthier, happier, and more successful (no more feelings of guilt and shame!). The successful woman: Brenda Ueland — a prolific writer, strong woman in history, and all-round self-confident dame.
We women are “too ready not to stand by what we have said or done,” says Ueland. “It is so conceited and timid to be ashamed of one’s mistakes. Of course they are mistakes. Go on to the next.”
I love this because I tend to berate myself endlessly for mistakes! If you’re the same way, you might find John Maxwell’s Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes Into Stepping Stones for Success helpful (click on the image for more info). And, read on for my tips on making mistakes and moving on, inspired by Brenda Ueland.
Making Mistakes and Moving On – Brenda Ueland
Figure out why it’s conceited to be ashamed of your mistakes. How do you interpret Ueland’s statement that it’s conceited to be ashamed of your mistakes? To me, that means we put too much emphasis on the importance of ourselves and our mistakes. Dwelling on the mistakes we’ve made, instead of bouncing back to push forward, means we’re focused on our own selves instead of what’s going on around us.
Practice “moving on” for one month. Making mistakes and moving on is harder than it sounds, but I encourage you (and me!) to try it for one month. Every time that critical inner voice berates and castigates you for making a mistake, practice accepting that you’re human, remembering what you learned from that mistake, and shaking it off. If you need help conquering that nasty inner voice, read 5 Tips for Taming Your Inner Critic (written by Gini Grey, a frequent contributor to the comments here on See Jane Soar!).
Hold on to a successful woman who made mistakes and moved on. Learn from strong women in history like Eleanor Roosevelt or Amelia Earhart – or from a woman in your own life! When I worked with Big Brothers and Big Sisters in Calgary, our public relations person made a grievous error in the quarterly newsletter. She accidentally published the name of an individual who made a significant donation to the organization; his only stipulation was that he remain anonymous. She didn’t realize her error until the newsletter was published and distributed to thousands of people; she had to call him and eat some serious humble pie. I’ll never forget how balanced she was! She tempered her deep regret for her mistake with a healthy dose of “this too, shall pass.” She had the self-confidence, self-acceptance, resilience, and experience to know that she made a mistake. She needed to move on.
What was the last or most memorable mistake you made — and have you moved on? Don’t cower and don’t be timid, my friends. Above all, don’t be ashamed. You may have messed up — we all do — but it’s over. Let it go.
And remember: “Since you are like no other being ever created since the beginning of time, you are incomparable,” says Brenda Ueland.
What are your thoughts about making mistakes and moving on? I welcome your comments below!