Reconsidering What Mistakes Are

Hello again,

Sorry for the prolonged silence, it has been an absolutely crazy last few days, but I’m back here now, and definitely inspired.

As I spoke about last time, mistakes are a huge part of who we are, and truly accepting them is truly accepting who we are. In fact, I believe our mistakes are what shape us as people and make us who we are. It’s just that they’re such a huge part of our lives, that avoiding them or denying them is to run away from what life has to offer. Running away from growth. Running away from ourselves.

But I want to look at what mistakes are a bit more deeply, because the more I think about it, the more I realize how subjective a mistake is. What’s right? What’s wrong? That’s different for everyone, and sadly society seems to dictate what ‘should’ be, a lot of the time.

The definition:


Noun: An action or judgment that is misguided or wrong: “coming here was a mistake”.

Verb: To be wrong about

I think we need to reconsider the meaning of the word and really look at “mistakes” differently. Everything about the definition about seem rather negative to me, including the example. That’s because we’re taught in our society that mistakes are bad. Fix this, fix that, move on, don’t look back. Mistakes can never be a good thing.

That’s not true at all, and it really doesn’t have to be that way. Mistakes can actually be blessings. The imperfection can be seen as perfection. The universe provides them for us so that we can grow from them. Look at your mistakes. First accept them as yours, as a part of who you are, but then learn from them, see what you can improve on. I believe that this is one of the best ways to grow, and I can say that I have learned so much by doing this, personally.

Mistakes have lead to some of the most monumental discoveries in history, because through mistakes, we can discover things we may not have opened our minds about. Blunders and bloopers, gaffes and flubs all exists as challenges in our lives. Not as a challenge of something to overcome (impossible, as long as we’re human), but as a


Isn’t life full of pathways? (Photo credit: Jen Son)

challenge of acceptance, which can be sometimes the greatest challenge of all.

How then, should we look at “mistakes”, if not for the way they’re looked at already? The concrete latin definition of “error” is not a mistake, but rather ‘straying’, or ‘wandering’ from a path. This could be the “correct” path, decided by society, but it doesn’t have to be. The word simply means a deviation.

This is completely different form what mistake means in our modern world. We all deviate from paths sometimes, but I do not believe that we all see the same actions as wrong, as is the definition of the word mistake. There are just so many different paths that can be taken, each one unique to ever individual – it just shows how subjective wrong/mistake is. Not only that, but the latin definition of the word has a far more positive, or at least accepting connotation.

So are we ever truly making mistakes, or simply deviating from pathways in our lives? Think on that.



2 thoughts on “Reconsidering What Mistakes Are

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I like to catergorize what most call a “mistake” as a life lesson. I agree that life lessons can be good and others may appear bad. I do not agree that life lessons are times when you are off your path. I may allow life circumstances to cause me to mismanage my path or become inactive in moving foward. The more I increase awarness the clearer I understand the GPS (Or navigation system if you will) and the less I require glasses/contacts to read the handwritings on the wall. I have learned there are no coincidences therefore I am always on my path.

    • I like what you say, yes life lessons are part of the path that we walk over the course of our lives (I might even say that the lessons are the path). But I was focusing my piece more on changing our outlook on mistakes, and how they can be positives. This can and often does mean that one’s life lessons are necessarily on “their path” and that “their path” may not even be what we think it is. Perhaps one’s path is to make mistakes and learn from them.

      That’s beside what I was writing about, though. My goal was to open one’s mind. I wanted people to look at mistakes in a more positive light. Whatever that light may be, is up to the person. You have an interesting and solid view, and that’s perfect. You’re not looking at mistakes as “wrong”. Thanks for reading!

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