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Mistakes that I'm Grateful for...

This year as I approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I am deeply thinking of the word gratitude and the lessons that I have learned from mistakes that I have committed that have helped me grow this year.

Mistakes tend to be the decisions that we can be too embarrassed to reveal. However, I want to challenge myself and others to remove the stigma of shame for any shortcomings that we have had to overcome. I believe that setbacks are essential aspects of the process towards personal growth. 

Here are some of my mistakes: 

  1. Overthinking too much

I've made the mistake of thinking too much about important decisions in my life. I'm still struggling. I tend to analyze situations in detail too often that sometimes impedes from making a decision. I will sometimes convince myself that a negative outcome will happen prior to even taking the first step. 

I am grateful that overthinking exposed me to my fears. Without realizing the mindset obstacles that have prevented me from taking a leap of faith, I would've never started making the necessary shifts to overcome self-doubt. This blog is the result of taking the first step. 

2. Trusting the wrong people

I was once the kind of super optimistic person who thought that everyone had the best intentions. However, I never imagined that I would encounter persons who would end up disappointing me through betrayal, broken promises and a lack of support when needed the most. 

Experiencing a great deal of loneliness when I wanted to depend on people forced me to look to God. I express gratitude that even when I depended more on people than on who I already knew would have my back, that God has still stood by my side. 

3. Striving for perfection

Aren't we supposed to be perfect? That's what I thought for sure. 

I believed for many years that if I could not complete an assignment without it being flawless, then I had failed. (I cried hysterically in the 6th grade over a B+!-- that's another story)

perfection.jpg

Pursuing my goals with this mindset has not been helpful. Perfection breeds hesitation. It can paralyze you from taking a leap of faith for fear of not getting it all the way right on the first try. I wonder who actually makes the rule that there is no room for error. 

I've learned through too many failed attempts at perfection that we will mess up. And probably mess up again. Perfectionism can corrupt the soul, pushing us to be successful for social likes or shares, and not for passion.

I'm choosing to be more gracious with myself and realize that perfection does not equate to my personal best. 

Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
— Mahatma Gandhi

4. Not asking for help

I grew up believing that asking for help was a sign of weakness. If I couldn't do something by myself, I felt like a failure. I believed that others had high expectations for me because of the compliments other people told me. In both high school and college I was involved in several organizations where I assumed leadership roles. For a period of time, I experienced high achievement and excelled as a promising future leader. 

Under the mask of which the persona I was trying to maintain was a scared boy who was unsure had many questions about identity, faith, purpose and authenticity. My fear of being vulnerable prevented me from asking for help with my issues. I didn't know who I could ask for advice without fear of being judged. 

I chose to find the answers to my big life questions by using a lot of trial and error--mostly unhealthy errors. 

I'm grateful that I have learned over time to seek the right people who will journey with me as a part of my circle of trust. I have been blessed with a support network of friends, family members, and therapists who have entered into my life to help me realize that asking for help is okay.

So for this season, I am choosing to use this time to reflect on my journey.

I am grateful that my mistakes are a part of my story.

I am learning how to not allow my mistakes to define my purpose or shape my current identity.

I am committed to doing the work of being grateful for the small and even shameful things. I believe that when we acknowledge our hidden truths, we are able to see ourselves clearer in the mirror that gives us a view of our soul.

 What mistakes are you grateful for? Leave a comment below to let me know how you feel about your mistakes and the life lessons learned. 

Note: This post was inspired by a writing challenge on 'mistakes' by Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.net. 

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