This I Believe

Ashley - Heber, Utah
Entered on December 14, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks


The only time we fail is when we are too afraid of making a mistake to even try. We are then defeated before the battle was ever started. Mistakes are a part of life that we can’t avoid unless we never try. And, to never try is truly the biggest mistake of all. We fall to learn to pick ourselves up. When a toddler is learning to walk you cannot hold their hand the whole time. They must step and fall, get up and step and fall again. We have to crawl, fall, walk, and then we can run. You can’t skip a step; each is important and is a building block for the next. There are mistakes along the way of course, but because of those mistakes we are actually better off because we have paid the price. It means more.

Mistakes are part of life, but how we choose to learn from those mistakes is the measure of our true character. You would never really feel accomplished if you never screwed up, because accomplishing something doesn’t mean succeeding on your first time. It means you have pushed yourself to the limit, learning from your mistakes and in doing so, grown and reached a higher level of you. How do you ever know the sweet without tasting the bitter? Your victory is that much sweeter when there is the bitter from your mistakes. Then overcoming them in the end is the sweetest taste of all.

If we never made mistakes, no child would know the sweet feeling that comes from reading a whole page with out fumbling a single word, and believe me I know how that feels. I wasn’t a stupid child, and having people read to me was my favorite thing to do. But, when it came to myself learning to read, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. Every sentence was a challenge every new word was a frustrating trial. Those stories I had to read for homework were torture. I saw my friends getting faster and better, yet it seemed no matter how hard I tried I was always making mistakes. I felt stupid, a failure, and I will admit I cried a lot when it came around to reading. I didn’t want to do it, not in class, home, anywhere. Why would I purposely put myself in a situation where I felt inferior, a failure? It was frustration like you can’t imagine. Then after two and a half years of feeling this way, it clicked. Like that puzzle piece finally falling into place. From then on I loved reading so much I’d rather do that then anything. All of those mistakes I had to overcome in order to read made me that much better of a reader. All of those mistake I made when I was learning to read make reading that much more of a triumph for me.

My belief is that we should not feel like a failure for making a mistake. Eddision tried 2,000 times to make a light bulb before he finally got it right. He made each mistake and experience to learn from and we should, too. We need to learn from yesterday, live for today and prepare for tomorrow. Instead of dwelling so much on our mistakes we need to think more about how we are going to correct the mistakes we made and try not to make them again. I need to take my own advice because I am my biggest critic. I tend to think more about the fact that I fell or made a mistake then how I am going to pick myself up again.

Once in a soccer game I was so worried about screwing up the pass that I totally missed the ball. It sounds funny now but at the time I wanted to hide under a rock and die. If I hadn’t been so worried about making a mistake I wouldn’t have messed up in the first place.

To win the battle we need to know that we all fall but when we pick ourselves up we learn, grow and then, with some work, we become victorious. We must learn from the mistakes we made yesterday and use those mistakes to make tomorrow even better. This I believe: Mistakes are a part of life that we can’t avoid unless we never try. And, to never try is truly the biggest mistake of all.