- Mistakes are a part of life.
- To err is human, to forgive divine.
- We learn from our mistakes.
Boy, do I cringe when I read things like that. It’s only after time has passed (like a year) that I can bear to examine my mistakes. I reflect and say, “OK, I see where she’s coming from,” or “yeah, I could’ve handled that differently.”
Here are three of many mistakes I made last year! And, with hindsight and a teensy bit more maturity, what I plan to do about them.
Mistake #1 – acting before thinking
I have a big mouth and a sharp tongue. They’ve served me well in the past, when I owned a cafe, or played in music groups with all guys. But now that I work in publishing, in my first corporate setting, I have to tone it down.
My first manager gave me a ton of grace, and taught me everything he knew. He was retiring soon and had no ego in the way of being a great teacher. Relating to subsequent managers was more complex. I’m so embarrassed to admit that I hung up on my current manager (more than once) because of issues I can’t even remember now.
My manager Angela has taught me to sleep overnight on a difficult e-mail or situation, and reply the next day with a fresh heart. She’s probably told me a half-dozen times to do this. It’s only now beginning to sink in. Waiting overnight seems impossibly long in our fast-paced, go-getter world! Aren’t we supposed to be nimble and responsive and agile? Yet, she’s right. I don’t comprehend things instantaneously (my manager will agree) so why should I expect anyone else to?
Mistake #2 – Expecting Way Too Much of myself
I hired a lovely friend of mine, Tammy, to do market research about knitting kits. When we met to discuss her research, Tammy mentioned something I hadn’t considered. She said that some of the Big Names are corporate-backed. They have their own yarn lines, and distribution channels, and marketing teams.
This shouldn’t have been a surprise to me, and intellectually I knew this already. But I was still comparing myself to Purl Soho, for example, or a well-established subscription service, and of course I fall way short!
The wonderful Besties who follow Renae Christine have a saying: “Don’t compare your beginning to somebody else’s middle.” When I start to play the comparison game, I forbid myself from continuing unless I know exactly when the other person started her business. If I don’t have the energy to research it properly, then I have no right to worry about it.
Mistake #3 – Not being completely honest
This shows up in several areas of my life, but the most important one in 2017 was in DATING.
If I meet a guy and I just KNOW it’s not going to go anywhere, I need to say so – gently, firmly – so there is no confusion. I’d expect this from a guy who didn’t like me “that way”. Yet we all know grown men who can’t bear to tell the truth about their feelings to a woman. #canigetanamen
In 2018 I’m going to be HONEST. Not brutally honest – but truthful. I’m going to slow down (see mistake #1) and ask myself, “how do I truly feel?”
I’d love to hear about one mistake you’ve made in 2017, and most importantly, what you’ve learned!
Many thanks to Marie Forleo for inspiring this post.