You might have heard many times that it’s okay to make mistakes.
If so, good.
But what sort of mistakes?
Has anyone ever told you what sort of mistakes to make?
As a small kid I used to enjoy watching on TV the enthralling game of darts.
I would marvel at big blokes standing back from a target with all these numbers on it, throwing small spiky things into a board.
The camera would pan onto the man as he walked up to the line to throw, and then as his first dart landed, it would give you a real close up of where he was aiming.
The dart would be hanging on the board and then the other two darts would follow, thudding solidly into the board nearby.
Most often the camera wouldn’t focus on the center where the obvious bulleye was, but would instead be focused up higher waiting for all three darts to go into the triple 20, so that the cry would ring out in an excited English drawl… “One hundred and eighty!”
As the game went on and it got more tense, suddenly they would be throwing darts into new areas of the board. I wasn’t able to do my maths fast enough to sort out how they jumped about, but I would hear the tension in the announcer’s voice as it turned into a whisper. Suddenly the scattered ease was no more. The darts would come slower and more deliberately.
The camera would watch the thrower shifting his position to throw. Darts would start to regularly miss.
Sometimes it would slow dramatically, and a bunch of darts would all miss, clustered together just past the outside edge of the scoring zone. I didn’t understand why it was happening but I could sense there was a fear of hitting inside. Better to err wide.
When you make a mistake you identify the mistake by comparing what happened to what you were aiming for in the first place.
In psychological mistakes, people tend to be the same each time. We err consistently.
What if you decided to still be wrong… just in a total different or even opposite way?
For example if you are told you are lacking confidence, you could find out what it takes for you to be told you have too much confidence.
If you are driving too fast, how much do you have to slow down before your back seat driver, even it it’s just the one in your head, says you are going too slow? Does the number you see then on the speedometer, have any correlation with what a police radar would call slow?
If you are depressed, have you also identified what it means to be unsuitably happy?
Since you’re going wrong anyway, is it really the end of the game where you have to err on the side of caution, or something else?
The highest priority is in fact usually about learning to do better next time, and this works best by being in and around the mark in all sorts of varied ways.
When something is important to you and you’re not succeeding, are you at least going wrong in the right, left, up, down, back, and front ways as well?
If not, here’s something to help you play better:
-Dr Martin Russell