Saturday, January 26th, Day 144, Mistakes
Today, I explored how making and correcting mistakes is part of the operation of our success mechanism.
If you would like to join me in this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One.
I now have 19 points from 19 consecutive days of completely logging my food in Cronometer. I started to log my exercise as well. I got up around 4:00 AM this morning, went on a short walk in the hallway, did some strength training, then went back to bed until 9:15 AM. Now it is almost noon.
I got breakfast, submitted an Instacart shopping list, and went through my gmail. I also reviewed the five-step formula for using the brain and body’s Success Mechanism to achieve goals that Maxwell Maltz writes about in Psycho-Cybernetics. Though his book is older than I am, I see how writers and motivational speakers since have used his ideas successfully.
Success Mechanism Steps
Step One. Have a goal. It needs to be thought of as something that already exists.
Step Two. Think in terms of end results. The means to get there may not be apparent, and that is okay.
Step Three. Do not be afraid of making mistakes or temporary failure. The important thing is to get a goal in mind and act. Respond to negative feedback by correcting mistakes.
Step Four. Continue learning skills by trial and error, correcting mistakes immediately by visualizing a correct response. Forget past errors and remember correct responses.
Step Five. Learn to trust the success mechanism. Do not force it but let it work. The success mechanism works as you place a demand on it by your actions.
Failure to Act
How often do we fail to act until we are sure of all the steps towards our goal! The description above says we must act and correct mistakes along the way. We can rarely get it all figured out in advance. I have striven for so much of my life not to make mistakes. I have been afraid of making mistakes. I have even failed to act out of fear of making mistakes. That is not the pathway to success. Making mistakes and correcting them is a necessary part of using the body and brain’s success mechanism. My comments about perfectionism are pertinent here. Perfectionism, to a great extent, is fear of making mistakes. It is paralyzing.
So, after a life time of having the paralyzing fear of mistakes, I realize that I must act even when I do not know the right way to go. Mike Dooley describes the success mechanism as being like a GPS. In order to start the GPS, you have to move. If you move in the wrong direction, it can correct you. If you fail to move, you fail to go anywhere.
Promoting My Blog
I can apply this knowledge to the problem of promoting my blog. I do not know the “right” way to do it. I am not even sure what my first step should be. But the important thing is that I step out and act, even if I make mistakes. I am sure there are books and articles that can help guide me. Whether their guidance will work for me can only be known if I try it and get some feedback. Then I can correct my approach until I gain further skill and achieve what I want to do.
The Lord asked me how many people I want to help live a better life. I could say 2,000 people to start. MailChimp will allow an email list of up to 2,000 emails for free, so if I start there, I can conserve my financial resources while I get started. I have about 350 Facebook friends. I could get more. Just because I am on someone’s Facebook newsreel, just because I am in their inbox, does not mean I have actually reached them. One-to-one methods may be necessary, such as writing personalized Facebook messages, texting, or even calling people.
There is another roadblock which can possibly get in my way. That is my self-image. Maxwell Maltz says that your self-image sets the limits of what you can do. Unless you question your self-image, you can do very little to change it. A self-image is a concept or it can be a series of images or movies you hold inside about yourself. Dr. Joe Dispenza works with people by having them make an actual movie of their best future. As people believe the movies they make of themselves, they transform. I would think that they change their self-image through viewing those movies as well.
I made a 50-minute movie for my parents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary with 13 of their favorite songs and over 500 photographs. My mother said, “It makes it look like I had a happy life.” The smiling faces she presented in photographs, the exciting places the photos showed her in, the fun things the photos showed her doing presented an aura of a happy life.
So, what can I do with my self-image? I could look at my wedding photos. I had a happy face and a beautiful dress with a tiara that made me look like a princess. My photos are not professional quality, but that does not matter. You can tell that I looked good. I was 56, but I looked younger. Old photos can be good for your self-image. They may not be perfect, but they are invariably of a younger you, which can inspire you to resume the vitality of your younger years.
However, a self-image is much more than your looks. It contains your:
- decision-making abilities
18. everything that is you
You do not have to sugar-coat your self-image and tell yourself you are something you are not. If you do not believe it, your self-image will not work for you anyway. Mistakes are a part of everyone’s lives. The important thing is what we do to correct our mistakes. What do we learn from our mistakes? What are we then able to do that would have been impossible had we not learned what we did from our mistakes?
A Big Mistake
One mistake I learned a lot from happened when my dog Caramel was young. She was a terrier/cocker spaniel mix and as sweet as can be. She looked a lot like a piece of caramel candy with a little white spot on her chest reminiscent of the underside of a caramel candy. But she loved to chew on things! I took her to my mother’s home and kept her in her kennel. I made one dreadful mistake. I draped an heirloom afghan my grandmother had crocheted over the kennel, where Caramel could chew on it. And she did, and wrecked it. I was beside myself with grief.
After returning home, I found a crochet pattern for colorful squares with circles in them. I bought several types of variegated yarn, crocheted the squares, and made them into a big, cozy afghan. I planned to give it to my mother for Mother’s Day, but I got it done a little early, and gave it to her for Easter. I made some errors putting it together, but it represented what I did to correct a mistake, and in many ways it was beautiful.
Denial of Mistakes
Not all mistakes are that costly in terms of time and money, but we can learn from each one. Some people seem oblivious to the fact that they are making mistakes and keep repeating them over and over. The mistakes become habits. I think we sometimes go through denial of this type. Denial may happen when we are so afraid of mistakes, we do not even acknowledge we are making them. If I have learned anything in the past 48 hours, it is about the importance of mistakes and the necessity of correcting them as soon as possible by mentally playing through the process of doing it right.
Another thing Maxwell Maltz mentions is the importance of being able to share yourself. If you are hiding and ashamed, this means you have a poor self-image. I have struggled for years over whether to share my bipolar disorder with people. People counseled me to be completely quiet about it. I did make some mistakes while sharing it over the course of my life. However, I had many positive experiences from sharing it as well. I have shared details about my bipolar disorder and treatment in this blog. The important thing is that I feel okay about it. If I am ashamed of or fearful about it, then that seems to trigger the same feelings in others. If I share it as a matter-of-fact, then people are empathetic. Almost everyone has some challenge in their lives. If they do not, they know of people who do.
Sharing a Medical Condition
I have wondered if it would be better if I were to just act as if I do not have bipolar disorder. I can keep my symptoms under control with medication. However, not acknowledging that I have the disorder is just a form of denial. The times I have not thought I had the disorder were when I had the most severe symptoms. A healthy regard for my medical condition, I think, is important.
Helen Keller could have denied the fact that she was blind and deaf, but that would have put her in danger and kept her from the help that she always needed. Since she was accepting of her handicaps, she was able to avail herself of help and accomplish far more with that help than she could without it. I could deny I have a condition, but I would probably deny myself the help I need as well. I have in the past. Fortunately, my husband does not block me from getting the help I need, even though he does not believe I have a serious medical condition.
A Healthy Regard for What Mistakes Mean
So, in composing our self-image, we also become aware of our mistakes. When we see that mistakes are a necessary part of the success mechanism, we can overcome the shameful meaning we have attached to them. We can share our mistakes and what we have learned from them. Most of them we can just forget. I am going to go forward today with the courage to make mistakes and learn from them, so I can accomplish far more than I have in the past. If you want to join me, please do.