Making mistakes is human

Ever said that dumb thought out loud and regretted it? Don’t worry, making mistakes is human, and it’s important to allow yourself the freedom to make mistakes.

This is my first day,” Mae noted.

The Circle by Dave EggersAnd then Mae, who intended to say “I shit you not,” instead decided to innovate, but something got garbled during her verbal innovation, and she uttered the words “I fuck you not,” knowing almost instantly that she would remember these words and hate herself for them, for decades to come.

“You fuck me not?” he asked, deadpan. “That sounds very conclusive. You’ve made a decision with very little information. You fuck me not. Wow.”

Mae tried to explain what she meant to say, how she thought, or some department of her brain thought, that she would turn the phrase around a bit … But it didn’t matter. He was laughing now, and he knew she had a sense of humor, and she knew he did, too, and somehow he made her feels safe, made her trust that he would never bring it up again, that this terrible thing she said would remain between them, that they both understood mistakes are made by all and that they should, if everyone is acknowledging our common humanity, our common frailty and propensity for sounding and looking ridiculous a thousand times a day, that these mistakes should be allowed to be forgotten.’

Dave Eggers. The Circle.

‘We try to do our best, but even then we will sometimes get it wrong. (Besides that, is there really a person on this planet who always does their best in everything?) Making mistakes is part of being human and an essential part of any learning process. The only way to avoid it is to do nothing, which is probably the biggest mistake of all. Commitment means we take effective action, allow ourselves the freedom to make mistakes, accept ourselves compassionately when we screw up, and carry on moving in a valued direction.’

Russ Harris. The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living: A Guide to ACT.

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