Fail!

“Fail. Ellie, fail hard. Make all the mistakes! Make as many mistakes as you want!” — one of my mentors

^ These were the words that freed me more than I ever knew.

Going into college, I discovered that I was afraid of trying new things. But the deeper root was because of my fear of making mistakes. Trying new things meant not being good at something at the first try (& I hated that + still do!).

I was conditioned to become a lowkey (or maybe highkey) perfectionist. The different environments I grew up in (and I can assume most of us can empathize with), have conditioned us to perform or present perfection. Whether it was from our parents, school, religiosity, society, social media, projections people have on one another other (i.e. stereotypes) and relationships — these are some major factors that caused us to become “perfectionist” even from a young age.

I considered myself to be a “lowkey” perfectionist because I took pride in being “low maintenance” (that’s a whole other story), but internally I have always been a an uptight perfectionist. So if you’re like me, I get you. I wanted things to be PERFECT. But I wanted something that didn’t exist. Took me long enough to embrace :\

I can go on & on with this topic, but I just want to keep it simple. Here are some perspectives in regards to “failing” or making mistakes (instead of just reading it through, try self-talking):

Maybe I stated the obvious, but I wonder how many of us believe these.

Bicycle Story: There was a dad that told his daughter that she has to fall 20 times on her bike. So she got on her bike, fell here and there and kept trying. Soon enough, she actually got the hang of it! At one point, she was just falling on purpose and counted “15, 16, 17…” and she asked if she can stop and asked “Why do I have to keep falling?” The dad said “You’re going to fall, so get used to it. In the end, you’ll know that it’s not going to kill you.”

When you make a mistake, you can gain 3 of these things:

1. Self Knowledge

2. Humility

3. Going to the love of God

+Good news: There is an abundance of grace & God is in control.

On the flip side — If you’re honest, I wonder if we’re even that good at allowing others to make mistakes. Maybe we set this “perfection” standard on others as well. Consider these realities:

  1. Everyone is only human, just like you
  2. Give others space to make mistakes so they can be given an opportunity to be better
  3. Give space for conversations and situations to be an ongoing dialogue (It is not a “one and done” event. It is not a “end all be all” defining moment either)
  4. Everyone has “those days” so maybe they’re not at “their best” and maybe another day, time or setting they will be

(Disclaimer: I am not saying to let others take advantage of you or for you to dismiss your feelings of hurt or disappointment when someone makes a mistake. But these are just some gentle reminders when we can be too harsh when other people make mistakes in our lives.)

Encouragement:

make mistakes

you are allowed to make mistakes

life is short

might as well enjoy it

make some more MIstaKes

make BIG mistakes *this means you’re trying big things

Let’s try, fall, *get back up* and get better. The key to success is failing a lot :)

If no one has given you permission, here it is: FAIL!

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Ellie Kim

About me: Recovering from people pleasing, burnout, codependency, religion & perfectionism. This is my story & you’re welcome to join me in my life processes.