I used to regret the birth of my first son.
I saw it as a failure. I failed myself and I failed him. I wanted a natural birth and it all went wrong.
I don't regret it anymore, and that's not because he's a strapping 6 foot tall, 16 year old hockey player either! It's because I was able to look at what went wrong and use it to be able to be proud of my 5 other births. I'm proud that nurses and midwives came to me after my births, congratulating me and telling me how they had never seen someone so calm and relaxed giving birth before. That they actually didn't believe that I was in labour, figuring that they'd be sending me home. They thought they knew what would happen, only to see my baby come into the world 45 minutes later.
But, I'll get on my birth soap box another day! Though feel free to contact me if you want more information.
Today, I'll stay on my Planner Soapbox and get back to the topic of failure and why it's important. I believe that we make mistakes for a reason. I would never have had the 5 wonderful birth experiences I did if it wasn't for the one that I 'failed'. So, I want you now to call up a failure. That shouldn't be too hard because we are continuously beating ourselves up over our failures, over and over. Don't choose anything too big, but I'm sure you've got a bunch to choose from on a self criticising loop in your mind.
Now, I want you to think of lessons learned from this failure. Maybe, this so called failure is too fresh to have enough hindsight. Maybe the lessons have not become apparent yet, but they will in time.
Try instead, then, to think of an earlier one, one with enough time so that you can see what you've learned. What have you done since that you wouldn't or couldn't have done if you hadn't made that mistake? What will you never do or always do because of that mistake? In short, what have you learned from this mistake?
Failures are not there to make us feel foolish, ashamed or stupid. Failures help us learn. I wish that the word failure didn't have such a bad connotation otherwise we would more readily see their helpfulness. Sometimes, the lesson doesn't always come right away, so we are left with those negative feelings that make us feel terrible about ourselves, and when the lesson does come, there's usually enough time passed that we don't even make the connection with the failure. So the negative connotation stays.
I have homework for you this week!
Eep! What? Homework? I know... I'm very mean.
It's not a hard assignment, I simply want you to take one of your mistakes or failures and turn it around and let some light onto the lesson learned. Hopefully, you can erase a few regrets, like I did!
Please share a lesson learned in the comments below, and feel free to be cryptic if you don't want to share the entire story. Sometimes we like to keep our failures private, and that's ok!! Unlike that poor French skater, I think her Olympic failure is every woman's nightmare, poor thing!
To lighten the mood a bit, here's a fabulous video on how to fix mistakes in your planner or bullet journal.