We’re a Bunch of Mess-ups

By | July 16, 2015

Everyone messes up. You mess up. I mess up. But we also spend a lot of time pretending that we don’t. (Fine-tuning, we call this—or editing—or practicing.)

Think of all the times you messed up anything before you got it right. I know you have a ton of examples in your arsenal.

Personal Mess-ups

  • Let’s start with walking. I bet you fell over more than once.
  • Talking. Have you ever mispronounced words? My little brother used to like to “fwump on the fween.” Did we make fun of him? Yes! It was hilarious, the way he talked! It was so funny that we started using the same terminology. There’s a lesson here: It’s okay to mess up. You might start a new trend.

    This is how you "fwump on the fween."

    This is how you “fwump on the fween.”

  • Beyond learning how to speak in general, what about learning a new language? There’s no way you’ll get that right the first time, and that’s okay.
  • Cleaning the bathroom. How many times did mom make you go back and scrub the scum around the sink?
  • Learning to ski or snowboard. Falling over again and again—again! (Why is it that as soon as we learn how to do one thing, we take on another that puts us right back at square one? ~Discussion for another time…)

Professional Mess-ups

  • Drafts of your resume. How many ways can you spin “dishwaser?” (Oops. Hope you also catch all the typos!)
  • Have you written a paper lately? A blog entry? Did you stop at the first draft? I doubt it.
  • Speeches, presentations, sales calls, videos. Practice, practice, practice.

Beyond those hidden mess-ups, of course, are real and public mistakes—those which are outwardly embarrassing, harmful, and discouraging. We spend so much time trying to appear perfect, that it’s hard to come out and say that we aren’t perfect. None of us are.

Let’s own that.

Let’s share our imperfections so that others can see that we are as human as they are.

I’ll start. See below for my bloopers reel.

For future reference if you ever shoot a video:

  1. Plan for at least an hour of taping for every minute of finished video. You’ll mess up more than you can imagine, and other things will go wrong, too. (This will happen in life in general, so consider this your notice—sent with love and warm thoughts.)
  2. Test your voice. Ah-hem! Clear your throat before you try talking.
  3. Check for ambient sounds. Close all windows to get rid of street noise. Turn off or get away from anything else that makes noise, including refrigerators, fans, heaters, air conditioners, humidifiers, de-humidifiers, radios, alarm clocks, ticking clocks, chirping clocks, and pets.
  4. Keep back-up pens on hand.
  5. Also keep spare batteries handy.
  6. Keep a running commentary that includes making weird noises so you can have a fun blooper reel at the end of the project.
  7. Reward yourself with ice cream. (You can do this step even if you don’t shoot a video.)

But no matter what—whether you mess up all the time or just sometimes—whether your mistakes are humongous and public or small and private—whether you create a video or not—Be Unique. Be Authentic. Be Yourself.

Feel like ice cream? I do! Comment below with your favorite flavor, just so I know you read this and it resonated with you.

(Mine is Mackinac Island Fudge.)


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2 thoughts on “We’re a Bunch of Mess-ups

  1. Greta

    I have been shooting videos for Young Living. It’s way harder than one might think. I finally just said to myself, you don’t need to be perfect – just real. Way easier after that pep talk. My favorite ice cream is double-scoop amaretto Mackinac island fudge in a cone in the hot summer in Copper Harbor.

  2. Darlene

    Love the videos Ev! 🙂 it makes it fun when they aren’t perfect and formal. And today is national ice cream day or something. I want peanut butter Mackinac Island fudge.

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