Tuesday, May 22, 2018

M=F/E OR: Mistakes, Failures and Experience

A few years ago I was given the opportunity to take on a project that was big and exciting.  It felt right to me and so I committed to doing the project. I'm a heart-and-soul kinda gal, so if I commit to something, I'm going to do it, all the way. 
 But it was HARD.  It took every ounce of everything I had to give and it wasn't enough.

And even though I tried 
and prayed 

and worked 
and tried...

I failed at it. I wasn't enough.
And I quit.

For a year afterward, I felt like I had a big red F on my forehead.  I walked around feeling the shame of failure and  knew I could never live it down.

Ever have an experience like this? 

Well.....turns out that my perspective on this failure caused me more grief than the actual experience.

Did you get that?  My Thoughts and My Take on the experience were what was holding me back.

Everyone else involved moved on pretty quickly.  
Turns out the project didn't die just because I wasn't there anymore.  They took out Person 1 and put in Person 2 and the project wheels kept churning along.

The only progression that stopped was my own.  
The only pointing fingers of blame and accusation were my own fingers.  

I prayed and tried to forgive myself and move on.  And I feel like I did.  It took some time because there were layers of things to heal from and to forgive and to give to the Savior.

I eventually moved on, fully forgiving.

 (BTW, Wanna know how I can tell if I've fully let go and forgiven?  If I can talk about it or think about it without feeling emotional, that's a big clue...If bitterness comes up, or regret, ect... I know that I have more forgiving to do. But now back to the main topic...:)

Here is the epiphany I had on Mother's Day.
WAS that Experience a FAILURE or did it give me EXPERIENCE?

Bro Packard is in our bishopric.  He's amazing.  He asked the Young Women to speak in Sacrament a few weeks before Mother's Day and then had them pull out their notebooks and he Taught them How to Prepare a Talk.  It was great.  I wished I'd learned his formula when I was a girl.  

On Mother's Day he came in to share a few more things with the Young Women.  
He talked about Mistakes, Failure and Experience.  He had a bunch of great acronyms that he shared with them. As he spoke, I thought of one of my own. 
Mistakes can equal Failure or Experience. 
It's all in your perspective.
Yup.  It's all in your perspective.

He encouraged us all to take advantage of every experience we could,
 to say yes to every opportunity that we felt right about
and to make every mistake along the way.
 (While keeping our standards and obeying the commandments, of course!)  

We came here to learn and grow!
 We came here to progress!
 We came here to learn all about life and 
love and growth and mortality.

We came to experience LIFE.

 Every experience has the possibility of mistakes and success.
 Every opportunity has it's lessons and experiences.  
Experiences will happen for our learning and our growth.
Do we choose to learn from them?

I am so excited about this!  

I now vow to view Mistakes as Experiences, not as Failures.
It's my choice.
I choose the path that leads to growth. 

On Monday I taught this lesson to my kids for Family Home Evening and challenged each one of them to do something they feared and to look for the experience and growth that comes from mistakes.  My 16 yr old told us he's been doing something similar lately called Seek Discomfort. He tries to do something that makes him uncomfortable each day. (Not uncomfortable because he's not keeping his standards, but uncomfortable because he's pushing out of his comfort zone.)
 Like sitting by a new kid who is all alone at lunch.

It's so empowering! to experience growth by making mistakes.  :)

Have all the EXPERIENCES you can. Don't fear the Mistakes.

You have a powerful Savior.
He's more powerful than our weakness and than any problem. 
It's all good. 

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