Sunday, April 6, 2008

Why making mistakes is good for you

I took a class through Art Media yesterday. It was on photo transfer and acrylic collage and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

At one point the instructor wanted to use one of my sample tests as an example of what "to avoid doing" with the technique we were exploring. She said it was a work of a fearless person because I wasn't afraid to screw up. I considered that a true compliment!

Sometimes we try something new and it goes all wrong. The great thing about mistakes is they are how we learn. We spend a lot of time trying to be perfect. Somewhere in elementary school we go from exploratory learning to black-and-white, right-or-wrong learning. I believe that's what causes so many of us to freeze up when faced with something we don't know how to do perfectly, or know the "correct" answer to. The greatest minds and inventions didn't come to light by being perfect. I look at trial-and-error experiments in my craft room as a good thing.  When I introduce a new format to a training group that goes over like a fart in church, it's progress.

My advice to you?  Get excited to try something new! Haven't ice skated in years but roller blading sounds like fun? Do it! Want to workout in the park but are afraid what others will think? Who gives a flying flip!? You are more likely to inspire someone to try what you're doing than to mock you. 

What could you do differently today or what have you always wanted to try for the first time? Be fearless! I bet you'll look back on those new experiences fondly. If you don't try, you'll just look back and wonder "what if?"

Go for it!

1 comment:

m.w. said...

Kristin writes: Want to workout in the park but are afraid what others will think? Who gives a flying flip!? You are more likely to inspire someone to try what you're doing than to mock you.

Hey, I can totally relate to that! When I first started using my Nordic Walking Poles, I felt conspicuous -- and sure enough, there were a few people who made silly remarks, but others who inquired about the poles' purpose.

Now, I see some of those people on our trails using POLES! We pass by each other and SMILE!

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