A common reaction to making mistakes is low self esteem.  Does the fact that we make mistakes mean that we have low self worth?  By that argument the fact that everyone makes mistakes means that everyone has low self worth.  What makes us worthwhile?  One of the things that makes us worthwhile is how much we contribute to the welfare and happiness of others.  That's because other people have an intrinsic value and their welfare and happiness are valuable   (As long as they don't harm the welfare of others).  If others have an intrinsic value so do we.  Not only that but our worth goes up if we contribute to our own welfare and happiness.  If we choose to constantly feel low self esteem we are hurting our own welfare and by so doing diminishing our self worth.  The more ambitious a project we try the more mistakes we are likely to make but the more we are likely to achieve if we succeed.  Here are some inspirational thoughts about mistakes.

The greatest mistake you can make in life
is continually fearing that you'll make one.

-- Elbert Hubbard

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.
Thomas A. Edison 1847-1931, American Inventor, Entrepreneur, Founder of GE

The better a man is the more mistakes he will make for the more things he will try.
Peter Drucker

For you to profit from your mistakes, you have to get out and make some.
   - Anonymous

Success is often the result of
taking a misstep in the right direction.

-- Al Bernstein

Mistakes are the usual bridge
between inexperience and wisdom.

-- Phyllis Therous

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.
Colin Powell

To Err is Human, To Forgive Divine,
And that includes forgiving yourself

(The second line is mine )

   Although by definition mistakes are unintentional, there are actions that people make that are in the gray area between mistakes and intent.  When we are careless, when we choose not to take precautions because we don't want to bother, than we do have responsibility and in those cases we are less worthy. 

   The most serious mistake I made in my life was when I was a child and the bars on a window came out in my hand.  I didn't want my parents to be angry and so put the bars back in the window.  A few months later my 5 year old brother was leaning against the window bars.  They came out and he fell five stories to his death.  I write about this mistake here so that others won't make a similar one.  Do I have no self worth because of what I did?  I think that I still have self worth because I can make the world a better place with the rest of my life and because my own life has intrinsic value. 

  Our success in life to some extent depends on the mistakes we make at work.  We might react to mistakes at work with low self esteem for having failed our team or supervisor, or company.  We might also feel low self esteem because we feel we are not competent.  We may feel pessimism that we have ruined a project and fear that our boss will turn against us and fire us.  All these emotions are likely to distract us from focussing on our work and are likely to lead to more mistakes.  In addition they are likely to make us miserable.  It's important to keep in mind that we have high intrinsic self worth whether or not we make mistakes doing a particular task.


c o p y r i g h t   ( c )   1 9 9 9 -2004 Karl Ericson Enterprises.  All rights reserved

Table of Contents