Existential Psychology

Do Not Be Afraid To Make Good Mistakes

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Existentially speaking we could say that there are two general types of mistakes, which we’ll call bad mistakes and good mistakes. While both lead to failure in the short-term bad mistakes tend to lead to failure in the long-term too whereas good mistakes tend to lead to success in the long-term.

Bad mistakes and good mistakes are qualitatively different in the sense that the orientation towards the object in question is different. Bad mistakes are the result of a lack of focus and dedication. Good mistakes are the result of purposefully leveling up to exist a little bit beyond your current comfort level so that even with total focus and dedication the task is challenging enough to elicit errors.

The outside observer might not see any difference between these two types of mistakes but that’s because most people don’t consider the fact that human beings, if they desire it, can exist on a continuum of self-actualization where what they are today is not necessarily what they will be tomorrow or next month or next year.

There’s no possibility for growth without the good mistakes since unless the difficulty of the task is constantly adjusted to remain challenging but doable the result will be getting stuck in a personal comfort zone where mistakes are rare but skills and abilities never really improve.

If you’re making a lot of bad mistakes it’s a sign you don’t really care about what you’re doing and you should seriously consider devoting your attention to some other endeavor. If you’re not making many mistakes at all it’s a sign that you’re currently stuck in a zone of complacency and it’s worth asking yourself why. The most common reason is an irrational fear of failure, basically equating failure with physical death when really it’s usually just symbolic death where bouncing back is possible.

If you’re making a lot of good mistakes then you’re probably on the right track and you really shouldn’t pay much attention to outside observers committed to degrading you. They have no idea what they’re talking about. If you continue on with full focus and dedication, striving for that higher difficult level where real learning and growth occur but where mistakes also necessarily occur, you’ll soon leave them all in the dust.

Greetings I'm Michael, the owner of Evolution Counseling and the author of all the articles on this site. I got my master's degree from Seattle University in community mental heath counseling and have committed myself to advancing my knowledge of psychology and to evolving my own philosophical system ever since. In addition to the content on this site I offer online coaching using Skype. If you'd like to learn more about it click on the online coaching tab or if you think you'd like to set up a session send me an email at evolve@evolutioncounseling.com.

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