“Learning from Mistakes”


Only bowlers will understand the negative anticipation in the above illustration. Despite the player’s best intention to hit the pins, the ball is heading towards the right gutter making no points. I often think of my life in much the same way . Despite my best intentions I often miss the mark entirely. The bowler can study her grip and her stance to improve on the next roll of the bowling ball. I need to do the same if I intend to learn from my errors. Otherwise I will keep on with the same old same old.

How I respond to mistakes depends on my surroundings. As a child, mistakes were unacceptable in my home, so shame clouded any missteps. I have had to learn how to benefit from mistakes instead of heaping more scorn on my already disappointed self. It has helped immensely to encounter new responses to errors. Most helpful lately has been my experience in the gym with my trainer. If I am doing an exercise incorrectly I am likely to injure myself. Here I get an immediate reward by adjusting my approach. My trainer and I can share a laugh about my convoluted way of trying to follow his instruction. The stakes for making a mistake are nonexistent.

In more important areas mistakes can have bigger consequences. But as I accept that I will make mistakes, some even serious ones, I can acknowledge my shortcomings without shame. As a added benefit, I find that I can accept others’ errors without condemnation or judgment. I can truly say that, despite all of our best intentions, we all do make mistakes. And sometimes we can even learn from them. But that won’t prevent future mistakes. It turns out no one really is perfect, including me.

22 thoughts on ““Learning from Mistakes”

  1. That connection between self-judgment and one’s judgment of others is so important. They are tied closer together, I think, than most people know. Which comes first, the chicken or the egg, though?


  2. This is a kind of reflection for me. It’s amazing how you’ve come up with all these and have nicely linked it to bowling 🎳 In one of my work lately, I have come across a saying that says that a detrimental mistake is not learning from a mistake.


  3. embrace those mistakes! I’ve always preferred cock up to conspiracy as the reason most things happen so not judging others for what goes wrong and imputing a deliberation to dumb luck, just a bit of dumbness, lack of foresight etc has always been a preferable approach to criticism. We’re human, we make mistake get over it!! And i’m crap at bowling too..


      1. I fight the urge to give into to my inner simian in my car and harangue all and sundry. Not at all easy and the only failsafe we’ve found so far, if I start on any sort of rant, is for the Textiliste to say ‘You’re just like your father’ and, Bingo! the storm abates…


  4. My problem was to keep repeating mistakes. I presumably thought that ‘this time, it will work’. It never did, so I generally compounded the error. Reminds me a lot of how most governments operate…
    Best wishes, Pete.


  5. Why is it our families were so harsh when we were children when mistakes were made? Of course kids are going to screw up. It is how they learn and grown up.


  6. It is sad that mistakes were unacceptable in your home. It must have been difficult but I am glad that you can acknowledge your shortcomings without shame. I think we all must learn that. No one is perfect. My father-in-law used to say if a person has ten plus points and four minus then we should ignore them. no one is perfect and we make mistakes, that is life. But it is important that we should admit our mistakes and not repeat them.


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