I’m so happy to say this article first was published on Maria Shriver’s website - Architects of Change.
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How often do you flash back to something that happened in the past and feel upset?
You tell yourself – ‘Big Mistake’ and you can barely stand thinking about it.
Well you can change how you feel about that by considering one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in my life – There are no mistakes.
I first heard this idea while studying to become a Life and Career Coach and it has become a core value for me.
Here is the foundation principal I learned from my coaching training at:
There are no mistakes, only different varieties of ways to experience life and remember more of who we are. The decisions we make stem from our mind, our heart, or both. People make choices based on their past, their belief systems, their values, and perhaps even on the collective consciousness that’s engrained in our DNA. Today’s print out is simply a picture that was created yesterday.
We always choose what we believe is the best possible choice in any given situation. Instead of directing energy toward the past by beating ourselves up over “mistakes”, why not ask – “What is the lesson? What can be learned from this experience?
What kindness in those 7 lovely words – “What can be learned from this experience?”
There’s freedom in your mistakes!
The idea that there are no mistakes astounded me. It was an entirely new way of thinking because I was so entrenched in my mistakes I just assumed I had to live with them; that I’d always be weighed down with shame and feel disappointed in myself.
What grabbed my attention so quickly and deeply was the idea that I could change how I saw a mistake - reframe how I thought about it – see a mistake as a lesson – learn something from my actions and choices.
I began to learn that everything I experienced, even mistakes, was part of what I was meant to learn in my life, part of who I am and that made for a great feeling of emotional freedom and relief.
No more suffering
Each of us is a combination of life events and experiences that we’re proud of, happy with and also painful, unfortunate things we may not like ourselves for and senselessly punish ourselves over.
I’ve made bad choices about money – invested in the wrong relationships and friends – failed at work – but this one principle revolutionized my life because I was able to look right at my worst mistakes and start to change. My unbearable mistakes became lessons to learn from, not something I continued to beat myself up over. For me it was a magnificent gift to learn this; to change suffering into healing and peace.
The first thing to change in me
Once I ended a 5 year relationship with someone I learned was a chronic liar. I discovered lie after lie about that persons business, family and life.
Trusting this person with my mind and heart was the biggest mistake I ever made and for years after I buried myself in anger and shame. It took time for me to regain my integrity because I felt I had sold myself out.
Betrayed the best things in me.
It was this one idea… there are no mistakes…only lessons to be learned that helped me see the truth and bare myself. I took action and went after learning. I wanted to know exactly what happened, what my part in the trouble was, how I had agreed to be manipulated, how my own greed, desire for power and comfort had created this situation.
It wasn’t easy to look at myself, to see my motives and choices and how my values were out of whack but the more I learned about myself the freer, happier and stronger I became. I was getting back to who I truly was and it felt good.
Change happened quickly as I looked honestly at my mistakes and saw the facts. I had a new hope and intention that once it was all seen and understood, it would never happen again.
I was definitely learning to love the messes of my life and I used it to re-build my life and reputation and make it into something I am proud of.
What you see as mistakes are opportunities to discover the truth about yourself and seeing the truth enables you to make new choices for your happiness and success.
Irish novelist and poet James Joyce once said:
Mistakes are portals of discovery.
What a wonderful, wise and inspiring way to see mistakes. Don’t you think?
Don’t let mistakes limit you. Why not pull open those closed doorways to the things you see as ‘mistakes’ and let in some light to discover the truth. It’s a life changing opportunity, an incredible chance to change mistakes into learning and life happiness and to be more who you truly are. And… it really works.
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And also take a look at this – Be Aware of Your Choices