Appreciating The Value of Mistakes

Appreciating The Value of Mistakes
February 20, 2012 Leslie Juvin-Acker

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Mistakes can either spring us forward or hold us back, depending on the way we look at them. Learn how we can value the mistakes we’ve made and see them in a new light, transforming mistakes into ¬†opportunity.

Mistakes Are Relative

The great thing about mistakes is that they are relative to our perception. In the moment, when we think something is “wrong” we feel horrible and judge what happened as a mistake. When we look back and see how the mistake has somehow benefited us, we chalk our mistakes up to learning experiences or growth opportunities – even acts of destiny or chance that get us from one point to another.

One mistake was Thomas Edison’s attempt to improve the telegraph transmitter. After a failed attempt, he realized that the sound of the machine sounded much like a human voice. As a result, the phonograph was made, transforming the world of music forever.

Mistakes Are Transformational & Transmutable

While mistakes have consequences, we can use the mistake and transform the consequences into opportunities for external and internal change.

We can transmute a mistake into opportunities for growth, knowledge, awareness, change, and discovery which then transform us and the way we see the world and how we act in it. We can gain insight into our own paradigms, habits, and behaviors by observing the emotional and real life consequences of our mistakes, as well as the mistakes of others. Mistakes can reveal unknown truths that help us gain greater awareness to see our situations and lives in a different light.

One such opportunity to transform a mistake is by observing our relationships with others. There comes a point when we realize we keep seeing the same situations and experiences over and over again. By observing the mistakes that have occurred in our relationships we can identify the things we need to change within ourselves and transform the mistakes into an opportunity to act differently in the future.

Mistakes Can Act As Guideposts

Mistakes can act as guideposts in our lives that tell us whether or not we’re headed in the right direction. When we make mistakes, we are faced with the chance to ask ourselves, “Is this the direction I want to take with my life?”

We have the opportunity to stop and take a good look at ourselves, our behaviors, our choices and decide if what we’re doing is serving us or not. It’s not unusual to hear people say after a bout of of difficulty or problems, “That was a real turning point for me.” Where are we going? What are we doing? How are we conducting ourselves? If we choose, we can really take our lives in new directions and its our mistakes that afford us this opportunity.

Mistakes Don’t Define You

The great news about our mistakes is that we are not our mistakes, so stop judging yourself (and others) for your failures, mistakes, and accidents.

Mistakes don’t define us as people, they just define where we are during a specific moment in time. Mistakes, just as any situations, serves to tell us where we are spiritually and emotionally, but by no means are we our mistakes. They are reflections of what we put out, that’s all.

So, when you are in the middle of a tough situation or dealing with a mistake, know that you have the opportunity to change it, let it go, and know that what you did is not you, but just feedback of your thoughts – which, are not you, either – because these things can and do change.


At the end of the day, mistakes are opportunities and defining moments that occur throughout our lives. We can use them for positive change and growth or we can let them define us, taking us into unwanted directions.

How do you deal with your mistakes? What more can be said of mistakes?

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[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]L.J. Acker is an American life and career coach based in Annecy, France. She offers free consultations and affordable international coaching by phone and Skype. ¬†[/author_info] [/author]