by Dr. Alexander Wright ~ Psychologist
Do something every day that scares you. Why? It will change your brain and increase your resilience to adversity. Our emotional brains are wired with two primary functions:
1) Protect you from danger so that you live a long life.
2) Protect you from danger so that you can procreate and we can continue to exist as a species.
This is such an important mechanism that does a wonderful job most of the time. BUT, there is a catch. Because of genetics and years long conditioning, we humans tend to create danger when there are no actual life threats present (i.e. excessive anxiety about trying a new activity and failing) and/or significantly exaggerate the danger involved in a particular event (i.e. making a mistake during a job interview). Good news is that being OK with making mistakes, accepting mistakes, and even inviting mistakes will lead to some beautiful outcomes:
- Making mistakes will give you the opportunity to have new experiences.
- Making mistakes will provide you insight about your values.
- Remind you of your humanity and subsequently increase perspective.
- Help you understand the things that work and do not work.
- Make you better at forgiveness.
- Make you more humble.
- Help you identify problems.
- Increase resilience.
- Help you see the bigger picture and make better choices.
I could go on and on but you get the idea. Do yourself a favor and make a mistake, make lots of them and I promise that you will be more emotionally intelligent, more resilient, and happier in the longer term.