Aren’t You Happy You Made that Big Mistake?

volcano  Have you ever made a mistake without first thinking, before you made it, “This is the right thing to do; this is going to work”?

Heck, I truly thought that some of my biggest mistakes were some of my best ideas.  At the time I made them.

If you’re like me, you, too, don’t often make mistakes purposely.  I believe that’s why we call them “mistakes” in the first place.  And, please, can we drop all the “You should have know better” nonsense?  Does anyone really believe that she would have actually made her latest mistake if she, literally, knew better?

You’re Not Your Father, So Don’t Tell Yourself You “Should Have Known Better”

Do you know how we learn to “know better”?  By making the mistake!  After we make the mistake, which we thought was such a good idea, then we know better.

Chastising ourselves (or someone else) with “you should have known better” is just another way to beat ourselves (or someone else) up.  It’s just another form of not accepting ourselves (or someone else) right where we are.  And how does that help us form (or reinforce) beliefs that align us with our desires?

Answer: it doesn’t.

In fact, chastising ourselves (or others) for our mistakes does the polar opposite – it reinforces beliefs that keep us separated from our desires.  Especially considering that you (like me) are 100% guaranteed to keep making mistakes.  Unless you wake up tomorrow knowing everything (and if you do, please send me an email and tell me what you know).

So I propose you develop and tell yourself a new, better-feeling, believable story about your mistakes.  Your mistakes which will continue to be inevitable.  So that your responses to them no longer impede the manifestation of your desires.

Let Volcanoes Teach Us What Story to Tell When We Make a Mistake

I propose that you start to see your mistakes like little volcanoes.  And, from this perspective, I believe you can not only stop beating yourself (and others) up for them, I believe you can actually start to feel grateful for them.

What are volcanoes, after all?  A volcano occurs because of one of three things:

  • Convergence of tectonic plates
  • Divergence of tectonic plates
  • Stretching or thinning of tectonic plates in their interiors

When one of these three things happens, pressure builds from the Earth’s molten core and a volcano can form.  And once a volcano forms it is only a matter of time until it erupts.  It is not improper, then, to say that, to a certain extent, a volcano must erupt – to relieve the pressure of super-heated gasses and molten lava building?

A Volcano Needs to Erupt

This is why, while a volcanic eruption is almost never desirable, we don’t “beat up” the volcano, nor the planet Earth which spawned it, for erupting.  We know that the eruption, while undesirable, was simply something that needed to happen.  The eruption was something, after all, that was 100% going to happen at some point because of the conditions of the Earth’s plates.

And seeing it this way, isn’t it possible to actually be grateful for the eruption?  Seeing as how it was going to happen and, now, it’s over with?  Now that the inevitable eruption has occurred, can’t we be grateful that it’s finally over and now we don’t have to experience it again (or, technically, not for a long time)?

Let’s apply the same story to your mistakes.

A Mistake Needs to Be Made

A mistake occurs when you think something is a good idea, yet it turns out that you were wrong.  In other words, the conditions existed for a mistake to be made – you truly thought something was a good ideas that wasn’t.

So, like our volcano example, can you see that it’s not necessary to beat yourself up for something that, while undesirable, was going to happen.  You thought it was a good idea, after all.  Looking at it this way, your mistake needed to happen.  Considering the conditions for it (your thinking it was a good idea) were not going to go away until you learned otherwise.

And, also like our volcano example, can’t you also even foster gratitude for your mistake?  Seeing that it was going to happen and, now, it’s over with?  Now that the inevitable mistake has occurred (remember – I write “inevitable” because you thought it was a good idea, after all), can’t you be grateful that its finally over and now you don’t have to make it again?

How to Pat Yourself On the Back After a Mistake

So here is a new, better-feeling, believable story about mistakes.  Things which you’re guaranteed to continue making and things which, when you beat yourself up for, separate you from manifesting your desires:

“Although this mistake I just made is not desirable and I’m not ‘happy’ I made it, causing problems for myself and others, I can believe that I don’t have to beat myself up for it.  I made this mistake, after all, with the best of intentions, thinking it was a very good idea.  I didn’t know this wasn’t a good idea until I learned otherwise; no matter how much I might be tempted to tell myself I ‘should’ve known better’, I simply didn’t!  And, since I didn’t make this mistake on purpose, but because I thought it was a good idea, I can choose to do two things:

  1. I can choose not to beat myself up simply because I thought something was a good idea which wasn’t – now I know better, I can learn and grow, and I never have to make this mistake again.  
  2. I can choose to feel grateful that I made this mistake.  After all, this mistake was something ‘waiting to happen’ since I did think it was a good idea.  I can choose to be grateful for the fact that I know better now and never have to make it again.  This mistake is over!

In this manner, although I am not happy to have caused pain or difficulty for myself and others, I can move on from this and grow.  Forgiving myself, and finding gratitude, after all, is much more aligned with my beliefs than beating myself up or listening to others who might want me to.”

I know I will continue to make mistakes.  I’m sure you will too.  And doesn’t the above story feel better than:

“You idiot!  How could you be so stupid!  You should’ve known better!”

We all know it does.  So tell yourself this new story after your next mistake.  If you’re like me, I’m sure you’ll have that opportunity real soon. 😉

And stay tuned to this website for more tips and techniques to use new paradigms from quantum physics to align your life with your dreams…


Posted in Interest in Using Quantum Physics, Paradigms and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .


  1. A mistake is when you think your judgment is better than the Wisdom which seeks to guide you. But if you set a goal you are ready for, and then trust the universe to carry you to it – interpreting everything in light of that – it won’t always be the obvious route.

    Here is one of my favorite quotes:

    “One who flows as life flows has solved the enigma of human existence and needs no other power.” –Lao Tzu

    And A Course In Miracles, in the unedited Urtext, puts it like this:

    “Those who perceive and acknowledge that they have everything have no need for driven behavior of any kind.”

    • How interesting and wise, Dennis. Thank you for contributing your experience.

      I have had LOTS of experience with believing my judgment is better than the universal minds’. Mostly because I’m still in the habit of not listening all the time! 😉

      Please continue to share here.

  2. I LOVE this! And your message is so timely for me at this precise moment — really needed to hear this. Fantastic blog.

    • Thank you for allowing me to be of value you to you, Laura. And for telling me so.

      I hope to meet up with you many more times here.

  3. This is very timely for me also. I can’t help but wonder if by asking the questions I’ve asked myself recently, that I have been “led” to read this essay. I have spent the last 3 or 4 years regretting a big mistake I’ve made, and forgot that at the time I made it, I thought it was a good idea. I will implement your suggestion of a better story to tell myself. I like the practical advice you give here, and in one of the books of yours that I’ve just read.

    • Thank you, Eve, for taking the time to share that with me. I cannot convey what an honor it is to have an opportunity to be of value to you. And I cannot thank you enough for allowing me that.

      Reframing our stories, especially about mistakes, is so important for Growing a Greater You.

      After all, who made the rule that mistakes must be wrong? I didn’t! And I’m pretty certain that no one else did either.

      Yet, for some reason, we all enter adulthood believing that we must call mistakes “bad”. Oh yeah? I refute that.

      You know why? Because my litmus test for the stories I tell myself is not, “Is this what everyone else says about this?”. My litmus test is, “Does this story serve me and align me with my desires?”

  4. John Lennon turned “should have known better” into a Positive Expectation with the song “I Should Have Known Better”. In the song, his positive expectation of loving and celebrating everything his girl does. “I, should have known better with a girl like you, that I would love everything that you do,…”.
    John also used LOA with his bandmates. In the dark days of their Hamburg apprenticeship, he would say “Where are we going boys?”, and Paul and George and Ringo would say “To the Toppermost of the Poppermost Johnny!”. And we see how that specific LOA exercise turned out. 🙂

    • That is very cool of you to share John. Thank you.

      The Beatles are a wonderful example of positive energy. And how awesome that John turned that saying on its ear and changed the paradigm.

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