The Value Of Mistakes

Mistakes are a no-no, even a taboo.

That is unfortunate because they are very important and necessary.

Without errors, you cannot be in touch with and claim your own power.

Embracing failure is important if you want to come into your own as an HSP.

The Hidden Benefit Of Mistakes

According to Robert Fritz, author of the Path of Least Resistance and Creating, the creative process can be divided into three large phases:

  1. the idea or germination
  2. the development of the idea from concept to completion
  3. releasing the result

Although we can make mistakes at any time and step of the process, errors are most valuable when we are in the development phase.

Failure are an important part of the trial and error process that lets us engage with an idea and reality.

They tell us when something is not working so that we can consider what to change.

It is through failure not only that we learn, but also that we develop mastery over a subject.

Errors are our path to our power and effectiveness in the world.

How Mistakes Can Seem Like A Bad Idea

Mistakes can seem like a bad idea, particularly to highly sensitive people.

We do not like the negative feedback and we feel terrible when we have done harm to others.

Our natural gifts can make it difficult for us to want to take any chances. Since we are often misperceived and misunderstood and our insights dismissed, it can seem as if we are taking big risks whenever we move forward.

The Baggage Of Mistakes

There are many misconceptions about mistakes that can create problems for us:

  • mistakes are a matter of life and death. For early humans, mistakes may indeed have been a matter of life and death. However, those days are long gone and we can lighten up about mistakes. Most mistakes may create some inconvenience and even some loss but are rarely life threatening.
  • mistakes are a sign of stupidity. Mistakes have been equated with lower intelligence as far back as I can remember. However, mistakes are inevitable when we are venturing to create something new or learn a new skill.
  • mistakes are a sign of weakness. Making mistakes can actually be a sign of strength since it takes courage to be willing to learn something new.
  • mistakes are a sign of bad character. What an old saw this is! Character assassination is a favorite method of attacking people who take risks. Mistakes are not a sign of bad character. They are a sign of a learning process under way.
  • mistakes are a sign we do not care. Making mistakes, if we are trying to learn can be a sign of great caring. Sticking your neck out to learn takes courage which is usually a sign of caring.

Embracing Intelligent Risk Taking

The easiest way to move forward in life, embrace your personal growth and learn is to embrace intelligent risk taking.

Not all risk taking is equal. You can make unnecessary errors by taking on to much at once, always flying by the seat of your pants,  flying blind without conducting any research and generally making a mess.

Or you can take a wiser approach.

A Process For Intelligent Risk Taking

In order to take intelligent risks, you have to have in your mind a process that can make risk taking an important and valuable part of what you are doing. You need to create a process that you have confidence in.

Here is one that is a start:

  1. identify what you want to do.
  2. break it down into steps. This prevents you from getting in over your head and makes it easier to identify where you want to make corrections and why.
  3. research what is needed to do what you want to do. Understanding the skills, tools and other requirements will make it easier for you to take an intelligent risk.
  4. obtain whatever resources you need. D not skimp on time, materials, education or any other resource you need.
  5. pause to evaluate your progress frequently. It will help you avoid the most egregious and costly errors.
  6. once you are comfortable with your preparation, engage wholeheartedly in accomplishing what you want.

Often the difference between effective and ineffective risk taking is a matter of preparation.

Benefiting From Taking Risks

Highly sensitive people are extremely conscientious and caring people. Often the result, however, is that HSPs back away from taking risks when they d not have to.

Taking intelligent risks and using their conscientiousness and caring to embrace intelligent risk-taking can make a big difference not only in being successful but also enjoying growing a learning.

HSPs have much to offer, so when we take risks, everyone often benefits.

It is worth sticking our toes in the water. We may find that it is warm and inviting.

Image by Anna Gru on Unsplash

About Maria Hill

Maria Hill is the founder of Sensitive Evolution. She is the author of The Emerging Sensitive: A Guide For Finding Your Place In The World. In addition, she has created the immersive Emerging Sensitive Program using cultural and personal development frameworks to help sensitive people master their sensitivity and turn it into the asset it can be. She also offers The Magic Of Joy program for quantum healing and the Emerging Sensitive Community focused on living in the world as a sensitive person and navigating the challenging cultural shifts of our times. She is a longtime meditator, reiki master, student of alternative health and Ayurveda. Maria is a Certified Theta Healer and certified in Spiral Dynamics. She is an abstract painter whose portfolio can be found at Infinite Shape and also very interested in animal and human rights and the environment.


  1. Elizabeth Scala on March 30, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Great post. I see mistakes as helpful. I believe we learn from every experience we have- one of those, being our own mistakes. And is it a mistake? Or is it the way that things are turned out as they are meant to be? Or is it an experience we have so that we can learn a lesson and teach it to another being on our path? I love (well, maybe love is a strong word) but I do like not doing things right all of the time. Lately I have turned to a very committed daily journal practice. In my journal I write about what I observe, what I learn, what I am conflicted by. Well- I can learn from the lessons of my actions and behaviors. Thank you for a wonderful article. Have a healthy day,

    • Maria on March 30, 2013 at 6:22 pm

      Hi Elizabeth,

      I must admit I do not love mistakes either. To me it is always about deep listening. Of course, as an HSP, that can get confusing with so many inputs. But I think it is better to grapple with all of it even when we do not life the outcome to find better life solutions.

      Thanks for stopping by. I am glad you liked the article. I always enjoy your comments.


  2. Honey Apostos on April 9, 2014 at 9:06 am

    (whispering) I see a few typos. Just so you know. I was wondering, is that part of the message?
    I really like the subject of this post.

    • Maria on April 9, 2014 at 9:10 am

      Hi Honey,

      Thanks for the laugh! I wrote the article on my old computer whose keyboard was all messed up so no, it was not part of the message, but what a great idea.

      I am glad you liked it.


  3. susie morris on September 3, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    This is beautifully written Maria. I always enjoy reading your articles as they are filled with truth and encouragement. Thank you for this insight. I believe a lot of my life lessons have been through trial and error. But, has made the greatest impact on my development. Embracing the learning process is a very important step for HSP’s. In addition, if we can be transparent with ourselves, it also allows us to recognize true accomplishment as well. 🙂

    • Maria on September 3, 2014 at 10:17 pm

      Hi Susie,

      Thanks for stopping by; I appreciate your feedback. The fear of mistakes – as understandable as it is because it is shamed a lot – takes us out of the natural process of life and our creativity. I am pleased to hear that you are embracing the trial and error process. Baby steps are a great way to keep risk manageable.

      All the best,