(Or: How I’m Turning My Mess into a Message Every Day)
Bottom line – “Embracing and loving who I am and what I’ve done is not a fixed state – it’s a long work in progress.”
Note: I wrote this post and series back in 2010 and it’s amazing how the lessons I’ve learned from these top mistakes keep supporting me and helping me make the changes I long to, to be who I want to be and continue to do work that is meaningful and rewarding, with people I love and respect.
But so many of these themes are relevant today! I’m hearing from thousands of people a year who share these same mistakes they’ve experienced in their lives, careers and businesses. Let’s learn from all our mistakes and grow and stretch farther each day because of them!.
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As many of my friends know, I’ve immersed myself in a 9-year life reinvention, and shifted from a miserable and chronically ill corporate professional to an author, consultant, speaker and entrepreneur who absolutely loves what she does for a living and what she’s focused on, despite the enormous challenges.
It’s been one heck of a ride, with pitfalls, bumps, highs and transformations, that I barely recognize myself from the individual I was 10 years ago. The core essence of me is still there, of course, but there’s been so much shifting and morphing that now I see much more clearly what I truly value and need to have in my life and work and family experience. I “get” myself a lot more deeply than I did before.
The other day, I was talking to a new friend, Justin Krane, about some of the mistakes I made in business and in life, and he mentioned that he’d be really interested in hearing my top ten mistakes in business. And that got me thinking…
So I’ve decided to come clean with My 52 Mistakes.
Today, I’m starting a new blog/vlog project called “My 52 Mistakes” Project. These are the biggest mistakes I’ve made in my life and work thus far. I want to share them so you won’t feel alone in your mistakes, and you can learn from mine.
The goal of the My 52 Mistakes Project is to give brief look at the havoc each mistake wreaked in my life, and the breakthrough that emerged from it, so my mistakes can be of use to others. I’m also hoping this will provide a needed, open forum for women around the world to candidly share their mistakes, what they’ve learned, and how they’ve grown and healed from them.
For this project to help as many people as I hope it will, I need more than just my experiences, I need yours – your stories, lessons, mistakes and breakthroughs – I need it all! We’ve spent a good deal of time here together building our community, and now we can help each other with our collective wisdom.
Which of these mistakes resonates for you? What other mistakes would you add to your list? Show me your lists, and tell me your top three. (We’re getting honest here people!) And please pass this along to anyone you know who’s committed to learning from mistakes and experiencing breakthrough. Comment here or feel free to contact me.
Let’s do this together! Let’s turn our messes into messages of honesty, forgiveness, and acceptance. I hope I”ll hear from you wherever you see this posted! And all along the way, know that I love and appreciate you, my friends. The growth we’ve experienced from our toughest mistakes make us who we are! xo
My 52 Mistakes…
As a professional…
1) Letting my ego lead me around by the nose
2) Believing the myth, “Build It and They Will Come”
3) Letting the “pendulum effect” rule my life (Waiting too long to take action, then being devastated and running to the opposite extreme)
4) Spending too much money on my business before learning how to earn and run a business
5) Listening to people who claimed to be experts but who are in fact full of s—t
6) Putting all my eggs in the Plan A basket without having a Plan B
7) Holding back from sharing my insights, wisdom, and knowledge for fear I’ll give too much away for free
8) Not listening enough to my instincts and my gut feelings about people and directions
9) Ignoring my husband when he said, “This is not working!!”
10) Running around thinking I’m God’s gift to the world
11) Wasting time in the company of people I don’t like or respect
12) Comparing myself to others instead of figuring out exactly what I want to offer, to whom, and why
13) Staying too long in a job I hated, not realizing it will, eventually, hate me back
14) Hiding from my fears instead of getting in the cage with them
15) Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome (thanks, Einstein!)
16) Taking on a narcissistic “goliath” expecting to be a successful “David”
17) Remaining in toxic, miserable situations believing that I had good reasons to do so
18) Letting my salary define me
19) Feeling like an “impostor” because of my flaws and mistakes
20) Thinking that this just “happened” to me– not realizing I co-created it
As a first-time author and beginning writer…
21) Believing I’d get rich writing a book
22) Launching my book and work into a vacuum
23) Letting my accomplishments blind me
24) Thinking my personal story was enough to generate a bestselling book
25) Mistaking myself for a writer when I wasn’t doing the hard work for writing, editing and reading every day
26) Longing for national recognition from writing a book rather than focusing much more on how the content can help others
27) Being overly attached to one idea, approach, or outcome that I thought was amazing (as journalists say, it’s time to “kill the baby”)
28) Keeping the truth from myself about, “What do I want, and what do I really want?” from my writing and my work
29) Not having had the guts to say what I mean – to a whole slew of people
30) Being wholly unprepared for the transformational process of writing and launching my book, and the commitment required
As a coach/therapist…
31) Believing the hype of “experts” about the earning potential of coaching (there’s often very little money in it unless you know how to run a business that offers coaching)
32) Not having sufficiently powerful boundaries to protect myself from the pain and darkness of helping people who are deeply suffering
33) Letting people walk all over me because I felt badly for them
34) Wasting months not liking my therapy work but thinking I should stay (if you really don’t like it, you’re not supposed to be doing it!)
35) Believing having my own coaching business would be an easy way out of my miserable corporate job
36) Not understanding,” If you don’t LOVE your clients, you don’t love your work” (and they won’t love you back)
37) Stuffing myself into another person’s “model for change” when I wanted to create my own
38) Not healing my wounds sufficiently before being in service of others
39) Coddling my clients instead of helping them turn their mess around by themselves
40) Limiting myself to seeing only one way to make a living
As a woman…
41) Wasting precious time not speaking up for myself
42) Waiting for my Prince to come and rescue me (and being really pissed off when I realized my husband wasn’t the Prince)
43) Letting my mistakes devastate me instead of uplift me
44) Being exactly the perfectionistic overfunctioner that I write about
45) Spending more time complaining about my situation than changing it
46) Worrying about polarizing people and alienating other women (it happens – get over it)
47) Not accepting that my striving towards “having it all” means I’m working non-stop and so busy that my head’s going to explode
48) Waiting too long to find amazing, awesome people to connect and engage with and believing I am worthy of their company, love and support
49) Believing I didn’t need or want great female role models
50) Letting my gender, generation, upbringing, traumas, cultural baggage, beliefs, fears (my “whatever”) keep me from accomplishing what I wanted to
As a human being on this planet today…
51) Listening to my mind to the exclusion of my heart and soul
52) Not understanding until my forties that I’m unique, special and powerful and can make the difference I long to make
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OK, friends, your turn! Wherever you see this, please share your top life mistakes and what you’ve learned from them. Please tag me @kathycaprino there! Share how your life has changed now that you’ve moved through those mistakes to the other side.
Let’s get this going! You’re awesome for sharing! xo