Art of the Song

The Fear of Making Mistakes

Why not welcome missteps as opportunities?

By Maria Mikhailas | Posted 4/30/05 | Updated 9/27/20

Perhaps our idea of what a mistake is — is mistaken!

Perhaps a mistake is the only way that our creative psyche can birth something radically fresh outside our narrow box of acceptable material. Perhaps a mistake is some new idea that otherwise we would have censored long before it reached our awareness.

Do you have a fear of making mistakes? Does this fear keep you from taking adventuring chances in your creative outlet? If this is as true for you as it is for me, let's make some space for our mistakes! Let's greet our mistakes with enthusiasm. Say, 'Look here! I just made a mistake! Wonderful! Welcome, welcome!"

How does a mistake make you feel? Like a failure? Inadequate? Out of control and messy? These are feelings that let you know you are onto something that could be daringly important for you. Something shockingly new, unexpectedly raw, insultingly honest has just blurted into consciousness.

Before we censor our mistake, lets sit with it and see if it is something that can be used. It may turn out to be something you ultimately can't use, but let yourself look at this new thing with openness. Perhaps it is a power that you normally disown, a silliness that brings in a fresh perspective, a relaxation that loosens up your rigidity, a new voice that you didn't even know you had.

Mistakes are a new take on life that you might ordinarily miss — which could become a missed take.

©2005 Maria Mikhailas. All rights reserved.