Picture of sign that says wrong way with the title Mistakes Refine Not Define.
Mistakes Refine Not Define

I make mistakes. As much as it pains me to admit it, I do. A lot of them. It’s natural, a part of being human, but somewhere early in my life I developed a phobia about making a mistake. Though no one ever told or taught me this, a formula took root in my soul that translates like this: You made a mistake, therefore you are bad. It’s a paralyzing formula. Such a belief makes it impossible to move for fear of moving wrong. And it is a lie. Mistakes are essential to learning. Like a toddler learning to walk, we have to fall down, pick ourselves up, and try again as step by step we learn to do it right. Mistakes are what we sometimes do, they are never what we are.

When I was contemplating starting this blog I worried and fretted. I didn’t know a thing about blogging. So I started to research. What was the proper format? How long should posts be? How often should I post? When should I post? What should I write about?

I searched for answers to all of these questions and I found a lot of advice and a lot of different opinions. My worries grew. No one was telling me how and what to do! Should I do this at all? What if I did it wrong!

Then, in a moment when I allowed my soul to be still and quiet, the answer came. So what if you do it wrong? Will the world suddenly end? Will you be less because you tried? In that moment I realized that no, I would not be less if I tried, but I would be less if I didn’t.Picture of a toddler's feet from the knees down.

We will make mistakes, it’s pretty much a given if you live here on this earth, and sometimes our mistakes will be horrendous. Sometimes they will impact the lives of those around us, causing pain and grief. Mistakes have consequences that, at times, determine the course of our life, but they are not the definition of who we are. We can, like the toddler, pick ourselves up, try again, and move forward until step by step we learn to do it right.

“You have not failed until you have quit trying.”

-Gordon B. Hinckley

Mistakes are what we sometimes do, they are never what we are.

2 thoughts on “Mistakes Refine Not Define”

  1. Your words are so true, my friend. A quote that beautifully addresses this is: “Perfectionism is a form of self abuse.” We must not only be willing to risk making a mistake in the name of personal progress, but be willing to accept that the results of our risk-taking may not always be “perfect”. Fear of criticism or judgment from others too often keeps us penned in and effectively blocked from moving forward. May others have the charity to forgive us and embrace us, in spite of our mistakes. 🙂

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