“Mistakes” – What did you learn from them? How obsessed over them were you? How did you accept them?

Oh, boy. *pauses to find the words I want to use*

If you only knew how many mistakes I’ve made; still make. Most of them are not intentional. Sort of.  *fidgets* Plus, this varies from craft to craft. Some mistakes I can bury or hide. Some mistakes have to be completely removed (whether it means undoing the work or cutting said mistake out). The best mistakes are the ones that I can keep and utilize in some fashion.

The overall lesson I’ve learned from mistakes is to accept that I’m going to make them. Period. I may work like a machine, when I’m really involved in a project – but I’m not a machine. I’m human. I make mistakes. Some of them can be quite costly – time, supplies, finances, etc. It’s how I handle myself after figuring out a mistake was made is what counts. (Ok, and if I’m not stressed/pressed for time.)

I used to obsess about many of the mistakes I’ve made. Enough so that it’d actually keep me awake at night. To be brutally blunt, this wasn’t healthy. I’ve had to learn to set aside the anxiety and anger, as it was counterproductive. Learning how to use the anxiety and anger to make a better end product became one of my saving graces – it forced me to focus on what I was doing, and how I was doing it.

I discovered that several friends and select family members are very curious about what I’m making, how I make things, and want to help. In most cases, “helping” is being able to critique what I’m working on without criticizing the subject. (There are some VERY big differences between the two!) These people have become what I affectionately call my beta viewers. These are the people I have absolute faith and trust in; what they say matters. I may not always use their suggestions, but I will listen. Even when I don’t want to hear what they’re saying – this is when I need to listen to them the most.

Learning to accept the mistakes was almost a cake walk, once I figured out how to not obsess over them. *holds hand up* Hear me out. This became one of the most important things I’ve had to teach myself. I had to give myself permission to make mistakes. No joke.

Do you remember what it was like when you were learning something new? Do you remember the mistakes and errors you made? Did you learn from them? (No matter how painful the lesson?) Each one of these projects has become a ‘learning’ tool. I’m going to learn something new. I’m going to make mistakes. Part of getting to the finished product is figuring out how to find solutions to said mistakes and make them work for me. I don’t always have to have a lofty goal I’m striving for. Oh, heck no!! Sometimes, it’s just figuring out if I like the new tools or supplies I’m using. It’s not unheard of for me to make something just to see where my skill set is currently at, and figure out what I need/want to improve upon.

Psst… When I was figuring out how to correct my mistakes, I started calling them “Opportunities for Creativity”. Yes, it’s a more upbeat and positive spin on the whole idea. However, it’s much easier than considering mistakes to be screw ups and failures. There are lessons to be learned. When you figure out that you’re the teacher AND the student – at the same time… Do you learn better from encouragement or from put downs?

*points to a sentence up a couple three paragraphs* I had to give myself permission to make mistakes. And I sleep better at night.