So you messed up. We all do it. Sometimes that reality is hard to keep sight of: we all do it.
I'm writing this blog entry because I messed up. I've ruminated, sought reassurance from multiple parties, and determined just about every possible consequence that could arise from this mistake (I'll admit that some of these outcomes are rather far-fetched but, as far as my brain is concerned, are worth thinking about nonetheless). Telling myself to let it go seems like an utter joke: it's my brain's party and it'll ruminate if it wants to. I'm writing this post as a guide for myself - as an answer to the question, "what would you tell someone else in your situation?" - in the hopes that maybe I can uncover some internal wisdom to help me move on and be able to read a book.
Since I work as a yoga instructor, pretty much all of my "wisdom" can be best expressed using yoga metaphors. In this case, X project that I messed up is getting into a super difficult yoga pose. Vrscikasana, or scorpion pose, let's say.
Above is an imagine that appears to show me not messing up in scorpion pose. What this photo doesn't include is literally all the millions of times I've messed up in the past decade trying to get into this pose. I've fallen flat on my face, crashed onto other people's mats, and have sported countless bruises on my face and elbows as evidence of myself trying to finally hold myself up in this posture. The photo also doesn't show my inevitable fall back down to earth. You can look at people who appear perfect and so easily overlook all the work and embarrassments and screw ups that have gone into getting there - all while being uncomfortably aware of your own legacy of mistakes and imperfections.
Unfortunately for us high achievers who suck at doing anything initially, getting into scorpion requires a very impressive CV of failures. There is absolutely no way you can learn to conquer an arm balance or inversion without falling; falling is an essential part to learning these types of poses. You can pad your fall with blankets, but you're still going to fall. Flipping the metaphor, you can take precautions to not screw up in the process of achieving greatness and you're still going to screw up (albeit maybe less painfully). C'est la vie.
Looking back on my epic scorpion screw ups, all of them seem to be inconsequential in hindsight. Sure, falling (literally) on my face in a workshop is embarrassing, but I managed to get up and learn to laugh about. In the end, without making these mistakes I never could have gotten to where I am today: able to hold this pose for 0.5 seconds.
My screw up was embarrassing and shameful, but (hopefully) it will end up being a lot like my scorpion failures. Sometimes I learn from them, other times I manage to repeat them entirely trying to get back into the pose. But it's all part of it. No one achieves greatness (or even mediocrity really, let's be honest) without messing up along the way.