Can I tell you a secret? I don’t always get things right the first time I do them. Sometimes I don’t even get things right the second time.
Can I tell you something else? I don’t always call these events mistakes. Because, do you know what? If we don’t get something right the first time, instead of being a mistake (which sounds like something bad), we can always think of it as an opportunity to get it better the next time.
And do you know what? That’s okay!
Do you see the difference? A mistake means that something has gone wrong. That doesn’t sound very positive, does it? However, if we change the way we think about what happened, we can make ourselves feel better – that is, tell yourself that you’ve just given yourself a chance to get better.
Let’s look at an example.
Maths. I don’t always find Maths very easy – my brain finds it hard to twist and turn itself in the ways it needs to in order to get the correct answers. That means that I quite often get things wrong.
Instead of just giving up and saying, ‘Ugh, I made a mistake, I’ll never get it right’, what else could I say? Here are some ideas:
• I didn’t get that right, but my answer was close – let me look again and see where I took a wrong turning;
• Instead of thinking that I can’t do this, let me look again and see what I’m missing;
• I’m not going to give up, I’m going to rethink the strategies I’ve been taught;
• Plan A didn’t work – there are 25 more letters in the alphabet I can work through!
Can you think of some other things to say to yourself instead of the following negative statements?
• I made a mistake BECOMES
• This is too hard BECOMES
• I can’t make this any better BECOMES
The best thing about the problems we often have is that there is always a solution, and it is usually quite a simple one. The hardest thing is sometimes speaking up and asking for help. But, do you know what?
You can do it, I believe in you!