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Living Happier Through Our Mistakes

Ah mistakes, we all make them.  We all hate that we make them.  There are very few people I know who relish in their mistakes and truly enjoy when they are wrong.  The thing is we all make mistakes, we all mess up we all make bad decisions and chose unwisely, that is human.  Our ego gets involved and tells us we are weak or less then when we make mistake.  I would argue that we are at our finest when we are making mistakes–because we are risking, trying, attempting something anything. The fear of making a mistake can paralyze us.  This fear can keep us trapped in an unsatisfying job, a hurtful relationship or a miserable situation.   I see it all the time in my office, people afraid that they will mess up or make a mistake and pick the wrong path so they do nothing.

However, life is best lived when we take action.  We are more likely to live happier when we change the areas of our lives that are making us miserable, whether that be to leave or stay and change our behaviors, change is necessary.  I believe, without risk there is no change; without change there is no growth and without growth happiness is limited.   That risk means the risk of being wrong, of making a mistake!  Oh the torment, to gain growth and happiness–we have to risk making a mistake.  As I tell myself and my clients almost daily–welcome to life!

When I look back on my life, on the relationships that were painful, or the jobs that were challenging I can see a lot of mistakes and because of those mistakes I am where I am today.  I am in a relationship that is honest and real and supportive.  I am in a job I love and enjoy.  I took a lot of twists and turns to get here, jumped off a lot of cliffs and came out of a few valleys but here I sit no worse for the wear, happy that I made all those unfortunate turns and mistakes.  And I know there will be many more in my future, many more risks and many more mistakes many more peaks and valleys.  That is life, that is the juciness that is life.  Life isn’t about living mistake free, life is about experiencing as much as possible and being as true to ourselves as we can.

Often I will encourage clients to make a list of people around them whom they admire or think are happy.  Then I will ask them to go talk to these people and listen to their story.   When we listen to people’s life stories they are are messy, filled with heartache and love, sweat and tears.  They have had moments of jumping off the cliff with no net and moments of sheer “why am I doing this now” thoughts, and yet here they are with amazing lives, amazing stories all because from time to time they made amazing mistakes.

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