Kicking When You’re Down

Today wasn’t a shining moment in my history.

I made an error, and I got really mad at myself for making it.

But the thing is, I already felt bad about the error. And then, on top of that, I was angry about making it.

But this is like when someone kicks when you’re down. Or beating a dead horse. Or insert your own violent metaphor here.

It doesn’t do anything to pile on the blame on yourself when you already feel bad. It actually hurts the situation because then you’ll feel like you can’t do anything right and you become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Take a deep breath. Learn from your mistakes. And move on.

Oh, and having a really supportive partner doesn’t hurt things either.



A Day of Learning

When you’re in school, you get spoon-fed knowledge while you are just sitting here. Study, take a test, repeat. Day in and day out.

But when you’re an adult you have to work for it. Look up a Wikipedia article, read, and fall down a rabbit hole of information that you have to yank yourself out of. And that’s only a couple of hours of learning.

And that’s if what you’re doing has a Wikipedia article for it. Otherwise, it’s the old tried and true method of making a mistake and learning from it next time.

I made a lot of mistakes today. I was busy, and I wasn’t slowing down. But instead of being down on it and beating myself up over it, I’ve realized that when you’re busy, and you make a mistake, it means you’re having a day of learning. Just like when you were in school. And for me, I’d do anything to feel like I was back in school.

So, don’t forget to take some time to learn while you’re busy. Because if you’re doing nothing at all, you’re not making mistakes, and you’re not learning.



Hole in Me

I think of flaws as a big hole right in the center of you, somewhere between your heart and your stomach. And it’s sort of like a black hole, a vacuum, it’s just sucking in everything around it until you can’t breathe, and all you know is your failings. So, to stop the feeling, you plug it up and fill it with anything you can. Which is usually just assurances that you’ll do better next time.

But you shouldn’t see your flaws as something to plug or to smooth out. Your edges are made jagged, like a puzzle piece to fit into something larger. So, the negative spaces are really just where you fit in better.

You should see your flaws as part of you, just like your heart or your stomach. And embrace them as best that you can. Because at the end of the day, it’s you and all that stuff stuck in your head. You have to come to terms with it sometime.



To Be Human

Here are some fun facts about animals:

A cheetah can go from 0 to 60 in three seconds.

Electric eels can deliver up to 600 volts. That’s enough to kill an adult horse. 

Peregrine falcons can reach up to 200 MPH in a dive for prey.

Ostriches can kill a lion with a single kick. 

Elephants can smell water from miles away.

Honey badgers are well, honey badgers. But they can also crack a tortoise shell with their teeth.

Most animals are nothing short of amazing. Evolution has sharpened its knives and has carved most of them into efficient machines with powers to outlast their environment and their predators. They are stream-lined and made with progress in mind.

And humans?


We have the power to order high-priced coffee and remember embarrassing things that happened to us years ago.

So, okay. Maybe we are the species that evolution forgot. And maybe the cool stuff is coming in the next couple of centuries??? (Honestly, I could use a couple more arms. Or laser beams that come out of my eyes. Whichever comes first.)

But we have to remember that we already have our distinguishing factor. It’s not top speed, or powerful senses, or strong bodies. It’s our faults. It’s our flaws. It’s our mistakes.

I mean, think about it. If any other animal in the wild makes a mistake, slips up once, they could be a meal for another animal. But humans make mistakes all the time. In fact, we are defined by the flaws in our character and our behavior. We mess up, and we apologize, and we learn. It’s a constant cycle that we rely on to live, really. If we didn’t make mistakes and learn from them, we could never evolve. In fact, it is the only way that we can.

For example, our primal ancestors had to learn the hard way that sometimes a cave could act as a shelter for you, and sometimes it could act as a shelter for another predator. It probably didn’t take us long to realize that we weren’t always on top of the food chain, and it certainly took a couple of human lives to realize that some animals should be feared. But once we did, we learned how to avoid them or kill them for our own food. We made mistakes, and we learned without having to wait until evolution equipped us with something to protect ourselves. We made tools and weapons, and we fought back.

So, the next time you get frustrated with yourself for doing something incorrectly, remember that you are actually fulfilling your role as a human. Your flaws are only an indication of your species, as much as tigers have stripes and honey badgers have bad atttitudes.

The Confidence to be Wrong

Last night, I talked a little about self-esteem issues. (You should probably just go read the post from yesterday.)

But since we all like to be lazy, I will provide a brief summary of what I said. Pretty much from the dawn of time we have been told that we need to love our (then caveman) selves. We need to walk into a room and shine. We need to puff our chest out, swing our hips, and smile our flashiest smile. We need to act like we are the best thing since snuggies and snapchat combined.

We falter sometimes. We have bad weather days. But often, when we put on our favorite shirt or shoes, when we apply a bright color of lipstick, when we get our hair just right, it’s not hard to convince the world that we’re the cat’s pajamas.

You see, instilling confidence in ourselves isn’t that hard when we are told that we need to believe that we’re special and kind. That we are fun to be around and that we matter. Doesn’t everyone want to think that about themselves? Doesn’t everyone hope that’s true?

Even though it can be a struggle, we all want to believe that we are the heroes of our own story, not the villain. We’re all fighting to believe that we are right in our lifestyle, interests, and beliefs.

But we’re so busy trying to keep ourselves afloat that we’re not sure how to cope when we sink a little. It’s the opposite of self-esteem: knowing how to be confident when we’re wrong.

When we’ve been fighting tooth and nail to assert ourselves, and then the rug gets tugged out from under us, it’s a sickening feeling. Oh, I made a mistake, you might say. You shrink to about an inch tall. And you’re vulnerable and pale and sweating. You pray that your deodorant is working. You start to think about all of the other things that you could have been wrong about in your life. Your career choice. Your significant other. Your choice of toothpaste. Suddenly, your confidence is gone, and you doubt yourself wholeheartedly. Being right and believing in yourself is easy. Being wrong? Not so much.

The truth is, confidence has been taught as a one-way street. Along with being taught to take pride in ourselves (in all the good) we need to be taught to take pride in our falls (in all the things we would prefer not to applaud.)

Come, say it with me, everyone makes mistakes. From Johnny Depp to Santa Claus, everyone has flaws. And the faster you can stand up and say that you accept yourself for who you are, every freckle and wrinkle in between, the more complete your confidence can be. The more you won’t crack under the pressure of scrutiny. The more you can be yourself.

So, with the same chest puffing and smiling you give when you stand up to say I’m right, do the same when you are wrong. There is really no difference between them; only that you learn a more valuable lesson from one of them. Neither can change who you are.