Have you ever set out to do something your heart’s been calling you to do… but fear crept in and you *stopped* …. because you were afraid to make a mistake?
“What if I’m wrong?” you wondered.
A lot of people are terrified of making a mistake…so they never even start. They let their dream or calling sit in the back of their mind, collecting mental dust.
Society tends to treat mistakes as though they were death sentences.
“Mistakes” don’t really exist, except to serve as data about where we can course correct.
If the ultimate goal is to experience a joy-filled way of living on a daily basis, then any “mistakes” we make are simply indicators of where we could have more joy.
Nobody else has the right to dictate how much joy you choose to experience (or not).
Said another way… nobody has the right to tell you you’ve made a mistake. It’s not any of their business.
A couple years ago I did a direct mail campaign, in which I offered organic product companies a free report called “3 Costly Mistakes Whole Foods Made in Their “Values Matter” Campaign.”
At the time, I thought I could help the organic industry by pointing out what I thought a corporate giant was doing wrong.
The campaign worked. It got me new subscribers. But I always felt weird about it.
Today I can see why something was off…it’s because the entire concept of acknowledging someone else’s mistakes is based on the idea that mistakes matter at all. They don’t. Not unless you choose to make them matter.
So what if Whole Foods made a mistake, let alone 3?
So what if they “wasted” $15-20 million dollars on an ineffective ad campaign (which is the stance I had taken in my report)?
Their actions had nothing to do with me. Their financial struggles weren’t any of my concern.
I was wrong.
My focus had been in the wrong place.
During that time (2015) I’d been researching the organic niche. I was constantly reading news about all these “fake organic companies” that were everywhere. It drove me nuts and pissed me off!
Then I realized following that news was not helping me in the slightest.
Staying informed about other people’s mistakes was not advancing my life forward. So I stopped.
I let myself be wrong. “Maybe my approach is flawed,” I said. “OK, I’ll just change it.” No big deal.
It’s not that big of a deal that my campaign was a “mistake.” I learned from it. It’s not that big of a deal that I was wrong. I changed what I was doing and course-corrected.
Today, I skip over any news items detailing someone else’s fuck-up. Who cares? It’s their life, not mine. It’s their course correction data, not mine. (Plus, what right do I — or anyone else — have to label someone a “fuck-up”? Only they have that right.)
There’s freedom in thinking this way.
If you allow other people to make mistakes (and don’t interfere or judge), then you also allow YOURSELF the freedom to make mistakes.
You become that much freer to move on quickly.
Also, by abandoning any fear around mistakes, you no longer have to be afraid of being “wrong” in the eyes of others. You gain freedom from caring what others think. (How you’re being is none of their business anyway.)
And finally, you no longer have to accept unsolicited feedback from other people about your so-called “mistakes.”
Here’s to the freedom in being wrong,
Anti-Marketer for Life