Leadership Journey

Mistakes Mean Growth

Mistakes Mean Growth
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This year I got a daily desk calendar with leadership quotes. It’s been interesting to see the different quotes over the past two months. Some of the pages remain on my desk, making an appearance when I want to remember a quick lesson or share some encouragement with a friend. Other pages are not so lucky.

Several quotes hone in on a particular theme, one which I have been spending extra time pondering lately, and they make regular appearances in my reviews. So, today, I thought I would share one.

Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to the error that counts.

Nikki Giovanni

The past year has been full of lessons for me, but mistakes are something to which I keep returning. I am realizing over time the necessity of mistakes. I have gone through seasons in my life where I have been afraid to act out of fear of a mistake, and that missed the point. I have gone through seasons where I make mistakes, learn from them, and grow as a result.

Mistakes, as quoted above, are a fact of life. Everyone makes mistakes. You make mistakes. I make mistakes. Our heroes make mistakes. The question then comes down to: are we willing to make the change necessary to correct the mistake the next time around?

I don’t view this as a license to live by the mantra “it’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission”, but even that mantra is necessary on occasion.

If I can teach my children, student leaders, or adults one thing lately, it is that mistakes will happen. Mistakes have to happen. The magnitude and impact of the mistakes can be mitigated, but mistakes are natural.

We should not live in fear of making mistakes. We should live in fear of not learning from the mistakes we will inevitably make. The subtle shift provides remarkable freedom.

What’s holding you back in life right now? What action are you not taking for fear of making a mistake? What if you lived by the mantra that making a mistake is not the worst thing that can happen to you, but making a mistake and not learning from it is the worst thing that can happen to you?


2 comments

I think this is so important to understand. My son was praying yesterday morning that they wouldn’t make any mistakes at school. I realized my error immediately in hearing him pray that. Though I agree completely this doesn’t give us license, I would much rather my kids be in a place where they are safe to make mistakes & learn from them. Grace should play a bigger role in who we are.

It’s such a fine line to walk, but I agree. I’ve spent a lot of time with my daughter’s basketball team trying to help them understand it’s okay to make a bad play, but we have to learn from it and get better.

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