edited October 2011 in Choice
Mistakes should not be feared. They are necessary stepping-stones towards what you wish to accomplish in life and where you most need to improve. Mistakes are simply cracks in your veneer that may later be polished out; they're not blemishes in your past or painful experiences best forgotten, but opportunities for greater understanding.

Every mistake you make is rich with potential. Every wrong turn, every setback, every blunder you kick yourself over offers the potential to see firsthand how choice shapes your path in life. The potential in every decision you make is a ripened fruit that bursts with the flavor of new experience. Mistakes are not emissaries sent to remind you of your failures, but simple reminders that you live your life without fear of the occasional misstep and make no apologies for it.

Continuously making the same mistakes, however, indicates a reluctance to examine the underlying reasons behind your choices. It may be helpful here to think of your choices as a reflection of your emotional state. An emotional world clouded by irrational impulses, for example, negates your ability to make decisions from a center of balance, and creates a loop that limits your choices and drives you to repeat the same mistakes. You can alleviate this by knowing when you make choices from a state of imbalance.

Making choices during times of stress is a fundamental lesson of the physical plane, and split-second decisions can be a life or death necessity. In many situations, however, you have the luxury of making choices with greater deliberation. In such cases it is helpful to gauge your emotional state before making a decision. If your stomach churns or surges of anxiety race through your body, for instance, take some time to re-center yourself. This can be as easy as clearing your mind with a brief meditation.

In the grander scheme, choices are neither good nor bad, but some choices feel better than others. Therefore, to learn from those choices you deem as mistakes, you need to recognize they were mistakes in the first place. With that realization it's then a matter of tracing the progression of choices that led to the mistake, and identifying where in this train of decisions the derailment occurred. More succinctly, when you realize your choices have been the result of random impulses, you then learn to make your choices more consciously. Unstructured thinking, irrational impulses, or a lack of focus, are the most common reason for repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

Regarding the application of an exercise here, the best way we know of to learn from your mistakes is to MAKE them. There is no intrinsic value in frantically trying to avoid all mistakes, as mistakes are part of the physical experience and in most cases your life will not be extinguished if you make one.

The duality of success and failure is an illusion of those who find more comfort in relying on what they fear than what they trust. Allow your life to unfold naturally; there is no need to force it. You have more than enough time to get things right, so savor the moments when you get things wrong -- you may one day cherish those moments more than you currently realize.

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