You have heard all of the clichés about making mistakes. “If you don’t make mistakes you aren’t trying hard enough.” “Mistakes are opportunities (or lessons, or whatever).” But let’s face it. No one wants to make a mistake. You feel embarrassed, humiliated, and even stupid. Of course, the last thing you want to do when you are growing your business is to make a bad impression on the people you are trying to impress. Yet, there is truth in the wisdom about making mistakes. If you are not making mistakes every now and then, you probably are NOT taking enough risk.
I have learned some great lessons from my mistakes. About ten years ago I was playing flute for a wedding, and at one point the organist mixed up the order of music. I was mortified when I realized we were playing two entirely different songs. Although we eventually figured it out, for the rest of the service I was thinking about how I could apologize to the happy couple. It turns out, no apology was necessary. After the wedding, the family thanked us, thrilled with how everything turned out.
Lessons for me?
Always triple check everything. Even if I am sure I am right, someone else (literally) may not be on the same page.
When you make a mistake, most people don’t even notice.
And lightning won’t strike just because I make a mistake.
Now certainly, I would rather that situation hadn’t happened, but to be honest, I know I have applied for and received more speaking engagements because I was braver after that event! In fact, remembering that situation helps me maintain perspective when I get nervous before my talks. I still triple check details and make sure everything is in order. I scope out the room and facilities I am using to become comfortable with my surroundings. I make sure I can see a clock so I start and end on time. But, I also know that if I make a mistake, the audience will probably not notice, and even if they do, it isn’t the end of the world.
What are you resisting doing because you are afraid of making a mistake? Are you dreaming of becoming an author? Do you want to give presentations to the public or health professionals? Are you curious about starting a blog? Can you envision going back to school for another degree? Do you aspire to open a private practice? Trust me, if you have a dream or desire, you can begin today! And don’t worry about not being perfect. Mistakes are just as important to the journey as the triumphs! You CAN do it!
Tip of the Month: July 2013
Julie Beyer, MA, RDN, is the Editor for Ventures, the newsletter of the Nutrition Entrepreneurs DPG. She is a registered dietitian nutritionist with an MA in Health and Risk Communications from Michigan State University. Julie is passionate about helping dietitians sharpen their communication skills. She has written three books about interstitial cystitis and diet, and her fourth book, You CAN Write a Book: The No-Nonsense Guide to Self-Publishing, guides the reader through the process of self-publishing. You can reach Julie on one of her websites: Interstitial Cystitis and You Can Write a Book