“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” ― Elbert Hubbard

It is important that we be willing to make mistakes if we are going to grow in both our personal and professional life. How else do we become stronger, wiser, and more well-rounded individuals?

“In school we learn that mistakes are bad, and we are punished for making them. Yet, if you look at the way humans are designed to learn, we learn by making mistakes. We learn to walk by falling down. If we never fell down, we would never walk.” ― Robert T. Kiyosaki, Rich Dad, Poor Dad

This year I made several character producing mistakes, some personal and some professional. With each mistake I have learned something about myself, about others, and I have become a better person as a result of those mistakes. I made a business mistake and it cost me time and money, but I learned to ask for advice from others sooner, and not to rely on just my own knowledge, but on the collective knowledge of others in my network. I learned just how valuable that knowledge really is and how readily available it is to me with a simple request. I learned to trust my network to advise me and to forgive myself for making a mistake.

“Mistakes are the growing pains of wisdom.” ― William Jordan

I made a personal mistake, and it damaged a friendship. It is only because my friend is amazing and had the courage to come to me and talk to me about my mistake and her ability to forgive me that I still have that friend. I learned that I don’t have to know the perfect thing to say or do when a friend just needs to be supported, I need only to be there and listen to them. I learned that it is important to put my own fears behind me and put their needs first, that makes me a better friend. I learned that I have wise and forgiving friends.

“It is important that we forgive ourselves for making mistakes. We need to learn from our errors and move on.” ― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

I understand that when I make a mistake I must own the consequences of those mistakes. I have learned that I must also let myself off the hook, to forgive myself for the mistakes that I do make. I have learned not to get stuck in self-recrimination but to learn, to become a better, wiser person for having made those mistakes.

Yes, this year I made a mistake and chances are pretty good I will make mistakes again next year, but I am pretty sure they will not be the same kind of mistakes, because I enter into 2014 a little bit wiser.