Mistakes, mistake and my mistakes 7

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“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”
Neil Gaiman

Mistakes – we all hate making them, yet they are a part of life and part of being human. Some personality types, (of which I’m one) tend to be harsher on themselves and more prone to perfectionism.  One of my earliest memories is being so upset that I couldn’t put my doll’s blanket on straight! I think I tick the boxes as a recovering perfectionist!

The problem with perfectionism is that it actually undermines our confidence because it keeps us small. Over the years, I’ve recognised a few areas where my self-talk has needed an overhaul.

• I stumbled during that presentation, I’m not great at public speaking.
• I yelled at my kids, I’m a terrible mum.
• I made a mistake at work, my colleagues will think less of me.
• I forgot to wash the school uniforms, I just can’t get it together.

With this type of negative thinking we can become defined by our mistakes and lose sight of all the great ways we are contributing.

Becoming a parent has accelerated my growth in this area, as let’s face it, there’s always something we could feel guilty about as parents. These days when I find myself overanalysing, I stop and ask myself some of these questions:

• Was I useful?
• Did I show up –at work, for my kids, in one of my relationships?
• Did I do my best with the knowledge I had at the time?
• In 6 months’ time, will this still matter?
• Did I admit my mistake and apologise?
• Was my response “good enough”?
• What can I learn in the future?
• What does God say about me?

With this type of reflection, I can let go and move forward.

Two years ago, I moved out of a work environment that was very familiar to me. I’d worked there for 15 years and knew the people, the processes, the culture, and how to get things done.

I’ve since started two new roles both requiring me to step into different environments, learn new technology and meet new people. It’s been the right move, but not always easy.  It’s been humbling and awkward at times as I’ve made mistakes on social media, forgotten people’s names or exposed my ignorance in some way.  But I wouldn’t change it. I’ve learned so much and I don’t want the fear of making mistakes to stop me from growing.

How about you?

Do you need to reframe your mistakes?
Do you need to show up and be seen despite how you feel?
Do you need to offer yourself the same sort of grace you would offer to others?

It’s the only way forward.


About Bridget Hadfield

Bridget grew up in the South Island of New Zealand surrounded by mountains and sheep. At the age of 13 she moved across the Tasman with her family to the wheatbelt of Western Australia where she finished high school and tried to lose her kiwi accent. She completed a Bachelor of Commerce in marketing and public relations and found her passion working for non-profit organisations supporting vulnerable children. She currently works for Foxglove Project, a local charity partnering with women and girl projects overseas. She lives in Perth and is married with two young daughters. She loves to travel, enjoys baking, dislikes craft and most afternoons you’ll find her playing chasey in the backyard with her girls.

7 thoughts on “Mistakes, mistake and my mistakes

  • Joelle Allison

    This is my story..


    I just finished work and I’m here at my work reception waiting to be picked by my husband. Something happened last night that I will never forget…..he dropped a bombshell that every woman would dread to hear. Have I prepared myself for this? The answer is I guess so. There were so many events in my life that made me strong and made me resilient. Let me start from my childhood. First, I was a product of a broken family that resulted from my father being a womaniser. Then I was sexually molested by a relative for several years. I was nearly raped when I was a teenager. Words of put downs spoken over me when I was at Uni. Because of all these, I decided that my future life will be different. It will be a life full of love, peace, fulfilment, joy and meaning.

    I met my husband in high school. We were good friends (we still are) and we both had intimate relationships with other people which didn’t last. We finally became lovers after high school and committed ourselves to each other for we both believed in happy endings. He had a share of problems growing up which he was very open about. Five years into our relationship and we decided to get engaged. But had to go separate ways as I was going to Australia to live. We promised each other to be faithful to and to keep our communications open. We had our ups and downs but came out victorious. We got married in 1996 and celebrated our 22 years of married life this year. My ideal married life is one that embraces, faithfulness, forgiveness, unconditional love, joy, dreaming big, growing old together, dancing, going places and peaceful living.

    There are expectations in every relationship but there are also the realities in life we have to face. All these years that I have been married I have been, happy, sad, nervous, paranoid, hopeful, faithful, upset or even angry.

    No thing or even no one is ever perfect. No matter how much protection you put in places, bad things could still happen. We choose to do the right thing or the wrong thing. WE ALWAYS HAVE A CHOICE.

    What do I value in a relationship? Integrity, honesty, transparency, genuiness, love, forgiveness, happiness, giving, humbleness, laughters and so on. The top 2 for me is faithfulness and honesty. I have been scarred growing up because of unfaithful and dishonest people in my life.

    I have heard time and time again about separations, divorces, sexual infidelity in my circle of friends and it just breaks my heart, every single time! Anything that destroys marriages-I DISLIKE! Because I know how and what it feels like for I was on the receiving end of a similar situation with my own family. I often ask “why?”, “how could they?”, “of all people?”.
    I remember the numerous times I shook my head in disgust, and in sadness wondering why people do such thing? I even had discussions with my husband about infidelity. I even asked myself ,”what would I do or say if it happens to me?” My intitial thought was, “I value honesty and fidelity so much that one mistake is enough to call it quits.” My reason was if you love someone and committed to that person all your life, you wouldn’t even think of thinking or saying let alone doing it. I chose a decent man, beautiful and respectful man that we almost share the same values, hopes, dreams, and aspirations in life. There’s no way that neither of us will fall into this kind of trap.

    Weeks leading to the bombshell was full of Netflix marathon and our favourite is SUITS. There was an episode where the main lady charActer kissed an ex boyfriend while she was dating someone else. It was breathtaking when she exploded and accidentally told her current boyfriend about what happened. Wow! It must have been really hard to do that knowing the consequence and implications of telling the truth. THE truth hurts. But the two characters reconciled and promised themselves to be honest with each other and no more secrets.

    It was really late that night. We finished an episode but it was nearly 1 AM so we decided to call it a night. I was just about to drift away when I felt my husband’s hand over my hand , caressing it and turned to me and said, “I have something to tell you. I have done something that will make you angry.” I turned to him and we were face to face. His tears started swelling up and then the sob. I though to myself, “This is it. This is one thing that I never dreamed of hearing from the man I love and respect.” I nearly choked and it seemed ages before he could tell me that he had a one night stand. He slept with someone…. it hurt but when I looked at him, he was in a mess and remorseful. This man had been carrying this burden for a long time that at last he was able to face his own monster, to admit to his own mistake and desperate to be forgiven. Did I feel angry towards him? No. Instead, I felt compassion. The first thing that I said was, “Oh sweetie, it must have been so hard for you to keep it inside for that long.” I put my hand on his chest and told him that it was good that it’s out in the open now and it happened, that we learn from our own mistake and so we move on and go forward. I thank the Holy Spirit and His Holy conviction. I thank the Lord for His unconditional love that reached to this person in front of me. With my own strength, I probably wouldn’t be able to forgive easily but because God has forgiven me and first loved me, I was able to forgive and help this broken person , the love of my life be restored again. When I married this man, I took my vows seriously and will guard it as long as I live. In the midst of deciding what to do and what to say after the fact, I looked to the cross and it was clear to me that I am to do the same, no matter what. In every trial, testings, storms of life, there is a ray of sunshine, hope, and love…..

    And so, the healing has begun. It’s a new beginning, fresh breath of air. Freedom from the past mistakes and freedom to move forward and enjoy the remaining years of being together. Looking forward to more intense love, sweet laughters, crazy whispers and a life journey full of love, hopes, travels and special moments to remember.

    • Amanda

      This story is so brave, so honest and so courageous. Thankyou so much for starting a conversation here that matters and taking the time to share your truth and your story.

      May peace find you in the midst of your season of courage.

      All my love Amanda Viviers

    • Jodie McCarthy

      Thank you so much for sharing. Your vulnerability in telling your story is so important. We all need to hear stories that confound our expectations.

      Peace be with you both as you continue to heal.

    • Sara Polanski

      Joelle, you are a brave and beautiful woman.
      Once again, I’m reminded that we are never too far from the realities of being human.
      In the midst of a blunder, you issued grace in such a raw an honest way.
      From one sister to another thank you for your courage to share such a deep moment of your life, marriage and family.
      It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. – Epictetus
      Thank you for choosing to respond with love.
      And thank you for reminding me that there’s always a choice in how we respond to the lemons that are thrown at us.

    • Elaine Fraser

      What a brave woman you are. You recognise there will be work and regaining of trust, but the fact that your love and forgiveness trumps all will help you both as you work on this together. Wishing you both strength, love, hope, and trust as you go forward. xxx

    • Joni Leimgruber

      Wow Joelle. What an amazing story. Isn’t it funny how God swoops down in those moments and gives us the grace to deal with what is in front of us. Thanks so much for your honesty and openness. This story will help so many xxx

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