wavy pattern

whoops I did it again 🙈

my mistakes and yours, and why it’s ok to make them

- Posted byHannah Miller

Hello all,

Last week in the world of Hannah, I managed to send my 25-year-old nephew my mom’s mother’s day card for his birthday. He got quite the surprise when he realised he’d become a mother on his birthday.


(My nephew wrote a hilarious song about this which you can listen to here!)

I also sent documents off to the solicitor, I was asked to do this by a wonderful charity I am a trustee for (well, I am trying to become a trustee for, hence the documents). I basically sent them blank documents – all I had to do was sign one page, and yet there was no sign of any signatures. Great way to make a good first impression. 

I seem to be making quite a few mistakes at the moment. I don’t really like making them, but at least these are low level mistakes without too much at stake. 

How do you feel about making mistakes? My natural response, the way I feel when I drop a ball is inadequate. It plays into my own personal imposter syndrome trigger which is to be a super-woman, and if I drop the balls, then I’m not really a super-woman. And so I will be found out. I mean in the cold light of day this is ridiculous. 

Mistakes are something that I know I have to get better at dealing with. And to be honest, I’ve made some progress due to the fact I keep making them and I am here to tell the tale. 

Here’s a few that come to mind without much thought.  


  1. Taking Maths A Level for all the wrong reasons
  2. Possibly not even doing the right degree choice
  3. Losing contact with friends that deserved better from me
  4. Making decisions based on what others thought of me
  5. Saying LOTS of things without thinking (Harmony is not a Strength)
  6. Forgetting my car was an automatic and rolling into the car in front of me in the most unnecessary non-car accident ever that caused a huge amount of damage
  7. Leaving the handbrake off the car and not realising it had quite miraculously slid off our drive missing the walls, crossed our busy road (missing moving cars and parked cars) and come to a stop halfway up the bank on the other side of the road narrowly missing a tree. 
  8. Nagging my kids about the wrong things
  9. Choosing the future over the present

I’m going to stop at 9 rather than 10 to embrace the imperfection of a list of 9. 


I think it’s crucial that we learn to accept that we have imperfections. Our mistakes, our errors, our misjudgements, and our downright stupid decisions are all part of life. Would we even want to go back and erase them? Some, maybe, but many have taught us so much more than the times we got it right. I started a job after uni that looked like *the* perfect position for me. It became clear very quickly to me that this wasn’t really where I wanted to be, and that I was doing it for a false idea of what would be good for me, the kudos, stability, and to please other people. I learned a lot from that particular mistake. I learned that you need to make your decisions based upon the criteria that matters for you and your life, and that continuing to pursue other people’s dreams and expectations for your life will not make you happy. So, I learned more from getting it wrong, than I did from getting it right. 

This is all very twee in some ways, we read about Edison and Dyson and Einstein and how wonderful it is that they made mistake after mistake, but it’s never easy to do in real life. I still don’t like it.

Here’s a few questions to ask yourself as you ponder mistake making in your own life. 

1. What mistakes are you currently making? What are you learning about what you are getting wrong?

Here’s a good question I pinched from a podcast: what are the mistakes/ failures that you cherish the most?

How do I treat people when they make a mistake? 

Do I know the difference between different kinds of mistakes and which kind am I making? (I wrote about this before but it’s worth mentioning again)


5. What am I doing to avoid making the same mistakes again?

What is my attitude to failure and mistakes (be honest)? What was I taught about getting things wrong when I was younger? How is this impacting my behaviour now?

7. How am I nurturing a positive attitude to risk, failure and mistakes in the people around me?
8. How kind are you to yourself when you get it wrong? Do you speak to yourself how you would speak to someone that you love?

9. Who do you tell when you get it wrong? Do you cover up or share the learning?

Being open and honest with our own shortcomings and mistakes makes people realise that you don’t have to be perfect all of the time.

I hope that this week you try a few things that might not work out. That you make some stretch mistakes that teach you some brilliant insights. That you make someone feel better when they cock it up. 

Have a happy, imperfect day, 


Hannah x






P.S. The last two weeks we’ve looked at Ben Francis – he’s keen on making mistakes as a way to grow. Take a look at how to fix your weaknesses 

P.P.S. Remember that live on perimenopause I did last week? Sally has kindly gifted me a discount code on her latest perimenopause course for all sidetrack subscribers. Go to doctorsallywomens.health to check out the course and use code HM35DRSALLYPMCOURSE at checkout for 35% off! 

You can also watch the livestream back here


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