Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid Of Making Mistakes

“If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.” –Coach John Wooden

These two sentences become a mantra that sometimes pushes people beyond their fear.

In the book How to Be Like Coach Wooden by Pat Williams, Coach Wooden described why he was occasionally bothered if his players didn’t make enough mistakes in practice:

“I wanted my players to be active, I wanted them doing things and initiating. I didn’t want them worrying about mistakes. Mistakes made while expanding boundaries are what I wanted. If we weren’t making mistakes, we weren’t far enough out on the edge. If we weren’t pushing against the walls of our capabilities, we weren’t practicing properly. The time to cut down on turnovers is during games, not during practice.”

In his book Wooden on Leadership with Steve Jamison, Coach described how this attitude applies to leadership and business:

“A basketball team that won’t risk mistakes will not outscore opponents. The same is true for any organization. Fouls, errors and mistakes are part of the competitive process in sports, business and elsewhere. Don’t live in fear of making a mistake.

“In sports, action often must be taken instantaneously to capitalize on an opportunity. In every organization, time is of the essence when opportunity knocks.

“Hesitancy, indecisiveness, vacillation and fear of failure are not characteristics I associate with good leadership.

“A leader must have Initiative—the courage to make decisions, to act, and the willingness and strength to risk failure and take a stand even when it goes against the opinion of others.”

“Mistakes come from doing, but so does success.” –Coach John Wooden

Coach Wooden believed that the person who is afraid to risk failure seldom has to face success, and that the only real failure is the failure to act when action is required.

In Wooden On Leadership, Coach described this basic principle:

“I told our team many times: ‘Be quick, but don’t hurry.’ By that, I meant to make a decision, take action, decide what you’re going to do and do it.

“Failure to act is often the biggest failure of all. Initiate quickly but not carelessly or in a hurried manner that makes a miscue more likely. I applied this same advice to my own actions. Do not be afraid of mistakes, even of failure.

In his book Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations On and Off The Court with Steve Jamison, Coach described his approach when decisions didn’t work out:

“You can always look back and see where you might have done something differently, changed this or that. If you can learn something, fine, but never second-guess yourself. It’s wasted effort. If I put a substitution in during a game at UCLA and he immediately makes a mistake, was my decision wrong? Absolutely not.

“It just didn’t work out. That was the decision I made based on past experience and without emotionalism. I made it with reason, but it just didn’t work out. Things don’t always work out. It’s also true in life. Does worrying about it, complaining about it, change it? Nope, it just wastes your time.”

Focus on preparation; take action and no self-recrimination when the results aren’t to your satisfaction.

“If we allow the fear of failure to keep us from acting, we will never reach our full potential.” –Coach John Wooden

Important Lesson – Manage your time.

You’ve heard the saying “We all have the same 24 hours in a day” so many times, right? That’s because there’s truth to it. Countless people have turned their passion into a full-time pursuit because they got started before and after work. You might think that it takes a specific type of person to be able to pull that off, but the truth is anyone can if they dedicate the time to doing it.

Time management is your best friend when it comes to pursuing your passion. Take a moment to observe how long it takes you to do each task throughout the day. From getting ready for work to cooking dinner, write it all down for a comprehensive view.

From there, you are able to see where there are openings that you didn’t realize you had. Did you watch three hours of TV last night? How much of this time can be used to work on what you’re truly passionate about? It might not be easy or comfortable right now, but it will ensure your growth and happiness in the long run.

Look at the areas in which you could work more efficiently. Are you working through your lunch break? What if you took that time to step out of the office and go to a coffee shop to work on your passion project instead? That’s five hours a week, 20 hours a month, you can dedicate to your passion.

Think about how badly you want to follow your passions and really feel satisfied with your life. Are you willing to stand up for yourself and tell your boss you’d like to take on a new project? Are you going to have the mental toughness to work on your project after work hours instead of zoning out in front of the TV?

It’s your choice to make it happen.

Thank you for reading. Love you for that!

—–Have Hope.Keep Faith—–

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17 thoughts on “Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid Of Making Mistakes

  1. 😄Finally some words to live by! Guess you uploading this right now could be the best coincidence ever❤️

  2. For so long, I wouldn’t try anything I didn’t think I’d be good at, for fear of making mistakes. It’s a dull and confining way to live. Mistakes still smart–but I do now that I believe I’m learning something (and growing) in the process, it’s a lot easier to manage the temporary discomfort.

  3. Enjoyed reading the blog above, really explains everything in detail, the blog is very interesting and effective. Thank you and good luck for the upcoming blogs.

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