Make Time to Make Mistakes

As women look back on their twenties, I’ve noticed two different types.


Those who when they are twenty think, “I have so much time to make mistakes. There is so much of life ahead of me” (a 40-something art gallery owner)


And then that thought they weren’t allowed to make mistakes.


“I thought I had to be perfect. I thought I had to prove myself. I had everyone to take me seriously. I wanted to be all successful. Now I see mistakes as normal. You learn from your mistakes and you grow stronger from your mistakes where I think at twenty, I just thought I couldn’t afford to make mistakes. ”  ( 40-something, sr. marketing exec, technology industry)


I don’t think it’s that different today.  Despite all the talk of confidence , there are still many 20-somethings caught between making a mistake or playing it safe.  As one twenty something said to me recently….


“It just seems like everyone knows what they want to do or just goes and starts a startup. But for as many 20-somethings who “know what they want to do”, there are those that feel paralyzed by choice, tied to a job for the money, or unable to find a job altogether. “


But as a 40-something former mistake-maker attests…. sometimes as a 20-something it’s hard to know that confidence is the reward for taking risks.


“There’s a correlation between risk taking and confidence. I try to put myself in situations where I will find confidence. You have to find confidence rather than think you don’t have it innately.  I do things that challenge me that I know ultimately will make me feel great.” — 40-something, marketing non-profit organization


Despite a lot of 20-something angst, she learned to force herself to try things she was afraid of doing.  Her advice?


Just take a job.   Then don’t be afraid to leave that job. 

“You just have to fake a job and learn about your skill sets.  You may have to fake it a little bit when you are interviewing.  You have to go in there and say the job is exactly what you want to do. You can’t go in and say, ‘I don’t know if I want to do that.’


Not everyone body can quit without a job but don’t be afraid to look. If you have been successful at the job you are at currently, what makes you think you won’t be good in another one?

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