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Embrace Your Mistakes So You Can Enjoy More Midlife Peace Than Ever Before

Episode 44 | (00:00):
Hey there, friend. Today, I'm going to talk about embracing your mistakes so you can start enjoying more peace during midlife, more peace than you've ever had before. Because these mistakes can just gnaw at us. They just gnaw at us and bug us.

Sometimes, if we just acknowledge them and let them go, life is going to get a little bit better. I'm going to give you a couple of ways to do this. Are you ready? Are you ready to talk about your mistakes? Yeah. Woohoo. Probably your favorites topic, right? 😉 Let's do this. Let's go!

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Today we're talking about everyone's favorite topic, our mistakes, our imperfections, the error of our ways. Always fun, don't you think? Well, let me start with a story.

I started doing improv — or improvisation, if you will  in 2006, 2008, somewhere around there. And if you've seen the show, "Whose Line Is It Anyway?", that's what improv is. I was with ComedySportz San Antonio for many, many years, and it was similar. It was the games, it was the singing, it was the silliness, it was running around looking like a chicken, you know, all of this stuff.

And it was so much fun. Now, I had come from a stage background and basically that meant you had scripts, which gave you the lines and the blocking. The blocking is just where you are at certain points in the script, it tells you where you physically are on stage.

So to get all of this right, we rehearsed a lot, over and over and over again. Going from that to something that was significantly less structured required me to get out of my head. I had to not plan ahead, to not look ahead too far because when you're doing improv, you have no idea what your scene partner is going to say.

So if you're planning, "I'm going to do this, then I'm going to do that, and then I'm going to do this" and your scene partner says something that takes you in a completely different direction, your plan has gone out the window. Once I figured all this out, things got easier.

As I was learning this completely new, foreign thing to me, I made mistakes. I mean, I made mistake after mistake, after mistake, and I was getting a little frustrated with myself.

At one point I realized, "You know what, Michelle? You're just going to have to grin and bear it, or you're going to have to quit so you might as well just enjoy it and laugh about it." I finally accepted that part of it saying, "It happened. I made a mistake, whatever. Keep going." You just keep moving forward.

When training new people, they were required to stand up and scream at the top of their voice, "Hey, I made a mistake," and we would all celebrate with them. We would be dancing and singing and jumping around. There was merrymaking throughout the land because they made a mistake. This was during practice, not during a show, but we would celebrate those mistakes.

The other day I was thinking, "What if we did that in real life? What if we celebrated our mistakes? What if we accepted and embraced our imperfections instead of beating ourselves up all the time?"

And for the record, this whole beating yourself up stuff, it really needs to stop, don't you think? By midlife, you have probably made a few mistakes, right? And some of these are mistakes you can't take back, like some of your life choices.

Sometimes when we're in the middle of thinking, "Oh my gosh, this was the biggest mistake. This is a huge life choice, and this was a huge mistake." In that moment, we can look at it as a mistake but you've got to remember, there's really no right way to live life.

When we're in our teens and twenties, we think it's a pretty straight line, right? I'm going to go from A and then I'm going to do B and then I'm going to do C, and everything will be happy.

But just like improv, life is really just a bunch of twists and turns, and ups and downs, and loops forward and loops back. And one step forward and 17 steps back. I mean, it's all over the place. I can't even begin to tell you how many times my plan went out the window in a split second.

I had this big plan. Everything was going to go a certain way and then, life showed up differently. And that's okay. In my experience, there are moments when life feels like nothing but a lot of poking around to see what feels right in that moment.

Mistakes. Yes, we're all going to make them, but we can't continue beating ourselves up because of them. If you told me even five years ago that I would have a podcast and I'd be talking to midlifers and I'd create an online course and all of this, there's no way I would've believed it. But this is the way life showed up for me, and I'm so excited about it.

So how can we do this? How can we start embracing our mistakes? First, let's take a look at the past. More than likely, in that moment, it felt like it was a really big mistake. It felt like it was really wrong. Maybe you picked the wrong job. Maybe you picked the wrong man. Maybe you got pregnant at the wrong time.

Maybe you settled for less than you deserved. We've all done that, haven't we? I mean, I know that I settled for less because my self-worth, my self-esteem, was at an all-time low when I was younger. So yeah, we've all made mistakes.

But if you take a moment to look back on your life and see where you are now, some of your greatest mistakes could be your greatest blessing today.

Look how much you've learned. Look how much smarter and wiser you are today. And think about the more interesting life that you've led than if you had had the straight line from A to B to C. (Yawn) How boring would that be?

It's time to find the good in those previous choices that we once considered mistakes, that we once considered errors in judgment or whatever you want to call it. And once you find the good in that, it's time to forgive yourself and let it go.

The second thing you can do is decide what you are going to do for your future mistakes. Yes, I don't mean to alarm you, but you will have some. Decide now before you make them. Visualize yourself successfully accepting and embracing that error and just releasing it. It happened, now it's over. Let it go.

It's better than beating yourself up over it. Aren't you tired of doing that? Ugh. I found that so exhausting. I mean, that's an option if you want to choose it, but think about it: Now you have another option. You can embrace your mistakes.

When you fall down, you get up, you dust yourself off, and you keep moving forward. And trust me, doing it this way will help you laugh about it sooner rather than later.

Because here's the deal: You're a grownup. You don't have to prove your worth to anyone. You don't have to please everyone. You don't have to compare yourself, and you definitely do not have to measure up to someone else's idea of what beauty or value is. Just be you. As they say, you do you.

Embracing and accepting your mistakes — Ah, this is one of the most freeing gifts you can give yourself. It helps you get clarity. It helps you step into your authenticity to where you're going to start feeling real. You're going to start feeling alive, and you are going to be energized again. Think about how good that's going to feel.

So that's it for today. I do hope you spend some time on this, forgiving yourself and letting go of the past mistakes. And starting to plan for those future mistakes and how you're going to get through them.

Because life's too short to be hanging on this type of stuff. We've got a limited amount of time left. Let's use it to its fullest advantage, okay?

So I will see you in the next episode and until then, peace, love and blessings to you and yours. Take care. Bye-bye!


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