2020 – The Year Of No Mistakes

We’re teetering on the edge of 2019.

The final week.

The end.

I went into this year filled with optimism. Supercharged with excitement. Expecting great things to manifest. They did. I was also faced with opportunities to grow.

I’ll never forget when my youngest went to work for one of the large retailers in our city. She’d been through their intensive training program and mentioned something another trainee had done. “Well, that was a mistake,” I said.

“No, Mom.,” she corrected me. “We don’t use that word. It wasn’t a mistake, it was an opportunity for growth.”

I still remember feeling gaslighted. My reality shuddered on the brink of a seismic shift. What? No mistakes? Everybody makes mistakes. These millennials don’t want to take responsibility for anything.

But I couldn’t get the idea out of my mind. I’d been dragging the past behind me like a corpse. What if all those muck-ups were opportunities for growth still waiting to be explored? And what if, simply by eliminating a word, I could free myself from the burden of self-blame?

I banned MISTAKE from my vocabulary.

That small act has shifted my relationship with my past and added an abundance of opportunities for growth (OFG) to my life.

Errors, mine and others, have taken on a different perspective. They often trigger much needed change. Perhaps a situation has stagnated. How important it is to shake things up, forge a new path, change the nature of a relationship – or end it. Make different choices.

Eliminating that word is a game-changer.

  • It conserves energy. If there are no mistakes, there’s no reason to get upset. If I’m not angry, I can look at an issue objectively. If I’m objective I’m open to creative solutions and better ways of dealing with whatever has come up.
  • It develops self-regulation. In the moment one of those OFGs happens, I have two choices. I can react or respond. I like how Quora defines the difference between the two. A reaction is typically quick, without much thought, tense and aggressive. A response is thought out, calm and non-threatening. The more often I catch myself before I react, the better I get at the split-second pause that enables me to switch to response mode.
  • It promotes reflection. No matter who was at fault, I look for the lesson. It’s always there. What needs to happen to repair the damage? Can the damage be repaired? What can I learn from this?
  • It exposes core beliefs. There’s the kind of reflection you see in a mirror or the surface of a pond. Then there’s the kind that fills page after page of a journal. I’m one for going deep. There’s so much we can learn about ourselves and peeling back the layers of an OFG is the perfect way to uncover our own mysteries. Sometimes subconscious beliefs that were formed in our earliest years are at odds with who we want to be. We’re oblivious to them yet they call the shots. When we examine our behaviors under the microscope of reflection, that hidden world deep within can come into focus.
  • It stimulates awareness which is the first step toward change.

In a few more days we’ll turn over the calendar and 2020 will be here. Once again I’m optimistic, excited, and expecting great things to happen. If you eliminate MISTAKE from your vocabulary you can go into 2020 like me – incapable of making one. It’s incredibly liberating. And think of all those opportunities for growth that will present themselves.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. barbparcellswritingalife
    Dec 27, 2019 @ 22:20:28

    Wow! I’m adopting OFGs in my life!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. writingforselfdiscovery
    Dec 27, 2019 @ 22:27:16

    You’ll never be sorry!!!

    Like

    Reply

  3. Jackie Countryman
    Dec 27, 2019 @ 22:47:32

    What a wonderful positive way of looking at this. I love it. Opportunity for Growth is awesome. Thanks, I needed this!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. Anonymous
    Dec 28, 2019 @ 00:04:39

    Wonderful reminder, Sherry, and as always, so well written. Sharon

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. Anonymous
    Dec 28, 2019 @ 11:28:39

    2020 – I am looking for a year of good health, togetherness with family and friends, re-centering, joy, and peace. And I won’t use that other word. Optimism is my influence at this time of year.
    Thank you Sherry for leading the way with your wise words.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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