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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Therapeutic Mistake-Making

A mistake a day is often my suggestion to my clients. Usually I am met with disbelief. Once they practice and do it "right" they tell me how relieved they are to be able to let go of self-blame, destructive pressure and even low self-esteem. Here is how:

What does making a mistake even mean? It is individually different for all of us. That´s where self-reflection comes in. What we are looking for is little mishaps that get stuck in our heads. Look for situations that you keep rehearsing in your head, wishing you had done it differently. It can be truly little things, like not getting our name out clearly when we are asked. Later we go over the scene in our head and start having negative self talk. THAT is what gives us a great opportunity to practice.

Aiming for one mistake a day, keeps us connected to our humanity, remembering that life itself is not perfect. Life is amazing, wonderful, mysterious and much more, but it is not perfect. Once that truly gets real for us, we can start to heal from over-achieving, high stress, unrealistic expectations of ourselves that can make our life quite rigid, unforgiving of our own little quirks - and others´. Living in a world like that is not much fun, not very colorful, certainly void of any sense of wonder and spirituality.

When we reach a point where we don´t allow ourselves little mishaps, situations where we are not at our best and might look stupid to the observing stranger, we are "on the job" all the time. We won´t have any time off, but we all need time off. We need to be able to relax and restore our body, mind and soul. We need to be able to feel safe, lovable and OKAY.

When we are always on our own case: negative self-talk. Making a mistake a day ensures that we don´t forget to give that lighter side of life a place in our day. At first I can be very uncomfortable to actually let ourselves get away with a little mistake that we used to beat ourselves up over. With a little practice it is such a relief once the "beating" habitually starts in our head and we remember that we can laugh about it, no harm was done, that we can let it go and don´t need to go over it again and again and that we can be forgiving toward ourselves instead. Ahhhhhhh.

Any person I know that I truly admire can laugh at their little mistakes and go on with what really matters to them without distraction. I invite you to give it a try. Please let me know if you have any squestions :-)...