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18 “Mistakes” You Should Make And Never Apologize For

18 “Mistakes” You Should Make And Never Apologize For

Ask any business owner and they’ll tell you that the only way to improve is to try and fail until you get things right. And believe it or not, life works the same way! Here are 18 “mistakes” you ought to shamelessly make, and never apologize for.

1. Not giving your job 100%

There is more to life than work. Sure, it’s what people say you need to do if you’re going to be successful. But it comes with a lot of side effects, not the least of which are burnout and general empathy.

Make the mistake of working for the weekend. Enjoy life outside of work. Who knows, maybe what you enjoyably pursue outside the office will be the key to your hefty and steady paycheck.

2. Staying out late the night before work

Ted Mosby says nothing good ever happens after 2 am. Nay, we say! How in the world are you supposed to find out when good things stop happening until you find the end? You have friends you need to spend time with, right?

Go build those lasting friendships and write those stories you’re going to tell your kids one day. Eventually you’ll settle down and you won’t want to stay out late anymore, so enjoy it while you can. A few rough mornings in the office are worth it.

3. Going after that risky opportunity

Ask any entrepreneur how they became successful, and their story will begin with taking a massive risk. It’s scary. People will tell you you’re wrong or naive all day.

And you very well might fail more royally than the prince himself, but in doing so you pursued something to its end with passion and fervor. That’s what matters.

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4. Ending a friendship or relationship that doesn’t let you pursue your dreams

You’re a strong independent woman that don’t need no man! But seriously – people come and go; your mind stays. Do you really want to live constantly thinking “what if”?

Let’s answer that for you. You don’t. It doesn’t matter if you achieve great success. What matters is that you made a commitment to yourself, to fulfill your dreams, and you might find success along the way.

5. Spending all your money on experiences

Not everyone wants to work hard for 30 years, then settle down in a little house with a white picket fence. And that’s okay. It’s also okay not to save all your money. It’s okay to travel around the world with no certainty about where you’ll find income.

Spending money doesn’t mean you’re wasting it. You’ll only find out what’s really valuable to you by investing in yourself, so go have that unique experience!

6. Blowing off friends for some you time

Introverted or extroverted, everyone needs alone time. Even if your friends are going to some big party, don’t worry about missing out. Blow them off! You’re valuable, and time with yourself is important.

Indulge in some guilty pleasures. You deserve that bubble bath with a glass of wine and a Nicholas Sparks novel! You go, Glen Coco.

7. Treating Yourself

Money is a fickle thing. You, however, are invaluable. Splurge on yourself! Neglect responsibility and indulge in your hedonistic tendencies, because yes, those shoes do look great on you, and  yes, you will have a paycheck coming in later that week.

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Life isn’t always about making the “right” financial choices. Yes, you’ll get older and feel the need to spend less. But don’t you dare feel bad about treatin’ yoself. You deserve it.

8. Neglecting to keep up with the latest trends

When was the last time that keeping up with Kardashians provided you with any lasting value? How bad will you really look at family gatherings if you didn’t hear the latest political banter? You can only learn and be interested in so many things everyday.

We recommend spending that mental power on topics you actually find interesting. Migration patterns of the Brazilian Horned Frog? Fascinating!

9. Quitting your job without knowing what you’re going to do

Your parents may kill us for saying this, but, psst – it’s okay not to have a plan. Really. Yes, quitting your job is relatively serious. So is paying rent. But what’s the worst that can happen? Couch surfing while you live the bohemian lifestyle? Big deal.

If you’re completely unhappy in your current place of employment, quit! Figure out what you want to do later. Try for a bunch of odd jobs. Quit your job and moved to a new city with no plans, and you may just be all the happier for it!

10. Moving to a new city with no plans

Live a little. Experience the country, or different countries. Everybody grows up wondering what it would be like to randomly move off to New York, L.A., Venice, or London. Take the leap and go for it!

Worst case scenario, you meet a few sketchy people and have to freelance write to get by. Isn’t the potential pay-off and enjoyment of a world of new experiences worth the risk? Wrecklessly, go!

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11. Dating that one person you know is terrible for you

You’re attracted to them for a reason. You know the situation won’t end well, but does that really mean you have to lose out on weeks or months of a good time?

Besides, it’s much easier (and more meaningful) to learn what you do not want in a significant other than it is to really conclude what you do want, day-in and day-out. Future you will be thankful.

12. Using free time to accomplish personal goals

You don’t have to feel bad about bailing on friends. You don’t have to get ahead on work. Maybe you simply want to read one book a week for a year, or build a business on the side, or visit every major city in the U.S.

People will say to use that time to boost your career. Nay! Pursue your goals! Achieve your dreams! And don’t look back.

13. Making a complete fool of yourself in public

Acting out probably isn’t going to be in anybody’s best interest. But making a complete fool of yourself teaches you one of two things: either you definitely need to never do anything like that again, or that it’s okay to come out of your shell a bit.

Sure, people will feel uncomfortable for a moment. But what if that one ridiculous moment is the key to relieving your social anxiety, enabling you to experience more things in life and achieve more of your goals without constantly worrying about failure? Would you say that’s worth a few laughs at your expense?

14. Taking an awful job

Something’s got to pay the bills, right? However admirable it may be to wait it out for your dream job, or for that one position you really deserve, sometimes you just need to take a lesser position.

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Pros? Because you enjoy your job less, you’ll find more distractions throughout your day (usually other friends also unhappy with their jobs), and you’ll be more inclined to pursue things you love outside the office. Those little moments of friendly distraction will turn into tight bonds, and that time you spent on your dreams will become invaluable.

15. Trying something new

You’re right, raw squid does sound like a terrible idea. So does working in an industry you have no prior experience in.

But even just one try, just one attempt at something new, can do more than simply broaden your horizon. It could be a crucial next step to how you live the rest of your life. Fear not, and try often.

16. Getting a pet

They cost money, poop everywhere, and take up way too much of your time and energy. But aren’t they just the cutest? Taking care of a pet actually teaches you a ton, and not just if you’re ready for kids or not.

It teaches you to be considerate of another, how to organize your time, and to get into a routine (like when your cat jumps in your bed at 6 am every morning, meowing in your face to feed it).

17. Doing something for yourself despite others telling you not to

Your friends are right. Doing that one thing will end badly. But maybe you need to go through that to understand what’s bad about it, or if it’s really a bad choice at all. You can tell someone not to write a book all day, but that it will only be a waste of time and a failure.

Listening to you doesn’t bring them closure and understanding. People have to “waste” that time and try their hardest before they can come to grips with their poor choices. And then, they will know how to better handle things in the future.

18. Trying to live a life separate from your family

We all have to go through this at least once. Yes, we love our families. But dang, are we sick of them! You have to prove to yourself that you can make a go of it on your own and not end up in a van down by the river.

You’re going to make a ton of mistakes, and it’s likely going to be really difficult. But if you don’t try to do things on your own, you’re never going to learn about yourself, your place in this world, and all the wonderful things you’re capable of.

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Kenneth Burke

Director of Marketing

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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