Hello Africa,

Why Are You So Afraid of Making a Mistake?
Image Credit: Getty Images

Growing up, every adult you encounter is there to tell you: "Don't Do this" and "Don't Do that". We get smacked for doing what grown-ups feel is "wrong". Constantly striving to "be good" and win their approval. But somewhere along the line, we forget something very important. We can only learn from making mistakes... many, many mistakes.

Take learning piano for instance. How can you possibly learn to play a new piece, if you haven't played it dozens of times, with countless errors in the process? Some pieces may take 20 mistakes to get it right, others may take hundreds of wrong notes before absolute perfection.

You cannot learn anything new until you stop being afraid of getting it wrong.

You can't grow as a human being if you are not constantly learning and pushing yourself. How do you know what you are capable of, if you don't try anything at all? How do you know if you can cook, or paint, or write beautiful poetry if you never give it a go? You are going to make lots of meals that taste terrible... I know, I've done that myself. Many paintings will look awful until you get the exact look that you want.

Nothing in this life is achieved on the first go. Everything you admire has taken years of practice. Years of making mistakes and getting it wrong, before making it great. You don't need to have exceptional talent at something to be the best at it.

People that are exceptional at anything are no less ordinary or extraordinary than you and I.

The truth is that people who have become brilliant at anything have spent countless hours practicing and making many, many mistakes in order to learn how to do it perfectly. Tennis players have hit that tennis ball with their rackets, thousands of times in order to master this skill. Musicians have spent thousands of hours practicing their instrument over and over again so that they can achieve the beautiful pieces that you hear that sound flawless.

Dancers have practiced their steps hundreds of times and fallen over many times in order to provide a breathtaking performance. We tend to believe that these people are incredibly gifted and talented beyond our imaginations, but the truth is that they are no less talented or gifted than you. They have just put in the time and put in the effort and have never, ever given up. They are not afraid of mistakes and they understand that failing over and over again, is the only way to achieve success.

The people who are the best at what they do are not necessarily the most gifted. They are simply the ones that never quit, no matter what gets in their way. Everything you admire in them has always been inside of you if only you would stop being afraid of making mistakes.

So What Are You Waiting For? Go Learn Something NEW!


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