Reminder: Mistakes Make You Human


You are imperfect. And as disjointed as that simple statement may make you feel, it’s so freeing. Because in this life you will face mess, pain, failure, brokenness—and none of that will become your identity.

You are not expected to be without flaw; you never will be. And that might be scary, might make you want to push back and be as close to perfect as possible. But the truth is, you don’t have to live up to this unrealistic standard. You don’t have to find yourself being disappointed time and time again.

You don’t have to discredit yourself every time you fall down, or think that just because you’ve failed you are a failure. The truth is, error is inevitable. You can do everything in your power to toe the line, say the right things, follow the correct path. You can attempt to be everything to everyone, be ‘the best,’ succeed at everything you touch. But at the end of the day, you’re going to fall short.

But imperfection is not a marker of who you are.

Making mistakes doesn’t mean you’re pathetic. Just because you forget to do something, or don’t do it right doesn’t mean you’re somehow less qualified, less ready, less able to take on the challenge again.

You may (and will) fall down from time to time. That doesn’t mean you don’t have the strength to rise, the muscles and heart to carry you forward, the resolve to begin all over again.

You’re not always going to have your life so perfectly laid out in front of you. You’re not always going to choose the right path, right person, right job. You’re not always going to be confident, prepared, or even able to do what’s expected of you.

But you aren’t unworthy or undeserving simply because you make mistakes.

Mistakes are challenges, bumps in the road to overcome. Mistakes are places where you can reevaluate, restart. Mistakes are bridges to cross to the other side; they are placeholders to keep you in check, keep you motivated, teach you more about yourself.

Mistakes are ways in which you grow, change, become a stronger version of yourself. They aren’t labels to stick to your forehead; they are markers of moments in time that you will overcome—not who you are.

Mistakes make you human, and being human is so damn beautiful.

We so often look at the times we’ve failed or fallen with frustration. We think that because we’ve let others down, let ourselves down we’re not capable of moving forward. We think we’re weak.

But it is not our mistakes that make us weak, but our perspectives in the aftermath. If we discredit our human error as fragility, we’ll never have the strength to move on, to forgive ourselves, to continue.

Mistakes do not equate to weakness; believing that we are incapable because of those mistakes does.

And so we must fight back. Against that narrow-minded perspective, against the self-hate, against the doubt that forms in our mind when we mess up. We must speak to ourselves with kindness and forgiveness.

We must know that we’re human and falling down is a natural part of growth.

We must understand that we are okay. That life will throw so many things at us, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t able to handle the storms.

There is no way we can avoid being imperfect, but imperfection is a beautiful, normal thing.