On Making Mistakes and Changing Your Mind

confidenceJust between you and me… I’m a scaredy cat. I’m afraid to try new things. I’m afraid to start projects. I’m afraid to meet new people. I’m afraid to put myself out there. I’m even afraid to promote my writing and this very blog.

Why am I such a stupid fraidy cat? Why can’t I plow through life, confident in what I choose to do, choose to think, or choose to say?

Part of the reason, I’m sure, is because my teen years and early adulthood were dictated to me… what to think, what to say, what to do, what to wear, what not to do (like college). I was a product of ATI and my mother. I’ve spent the last 9 years slowly undoing those thought processes, with great and speedy forward motion being made in the last 6 1/2 months.

But I’m still in this place of confusion, somewhere between who I once was and who I really am. And this place fills me with terror. I’m afraid to move, lest I take a wrong step. I’m afraid to speak, lest I change my mind on my beliefs tomorrow. I’m afraid to meet new people, lest they see my confusion over my own being. I’m afraid to strive toward goals, lest I fall flat on my face. I’m afraid to try new things, lest I find that I don’t like it as much as I thought I would.

I’m learning though to embrace the unknown, push aside the apprehension, and just stick my neck out.

Because it’s only through trial and error that we learn who we really are. We’re gonna make mistakes and through this we learn more about ourselves… about how we process information… about our skills and abilities… about which skills are truly important to us and which are not… We learn which things in life jive with who we are and which do not.

And you know, who cares if I change my mind tomorrow or next week or next year. It’s part of the process of finding out who I am. Staying opinionless makes no progress toward finding my true self. It only keeps me locked up in this place of in between. I can’t know my own opinion without first choosing one. If I have to change my mind, then so be it. That means I’ve figured it out.

If I start a project and end up realizing it doesn’t fit in with myself or my life, it’s ok to set it aside. That doesn’t mean I’ve failed. It means I eliminated a project from my list of things to accomplish in life. It means I’ve come a giant step closer to finding the true me. And where’s the shame in that?

It’s time to step out, meet new people, express our opinions, and tackle hard things with confidence… not because we’ll never fail or change our minds, but because by doing these things we find our true selves.


*photo credit


  1. Brenda –
    I loved this post. I think the feelings of doubt and unwillingness to risk are so common – especially when our childhood is restrictive. It just feels so risky. You described those feelings amazingly well.

    I wrote about a similar sentiment in my own blog http://exaltedpeacock.com/ Two posts in particular that talk about these themes are “I am enough” and “Arms Wide Open”

    I really like the premise of your site and the authenticity in each post I have read. thank you so much for being willing to put yourself out there. 😀

    Exalted Peacock

    • Thank you, Heather, for your encouragement.

      Thank you also for sharing your link. I am enjoying pursuing your blog.

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