There are important skills and practices we learn as children that are incredibly valuable. Some of those skills we continue to use into adulthood and some that should follow us, don’t. Practices like looking both ways before we cross the street, sharing, taking turns and blaming the dog or grandma when you fart, have traveled with us to adulthood. The practice of the Do Over we learned and enjoyed unfortunately has not.
For those who never learned or have forgotten – a Do Over is a chance to do something again because you messed up the first time you did it. Most importantly, there was no recrimination, stigma, loosing face, feeling awkward… essentially include all the words that make us feel shitty here. A Do Over was just part of being a kid, no big deal. We all took advantage of a Do Over. How perfectly sane is that?
When and how did we lose this lovely practice as we came into adulthood? Do Overs allow us to omit the sense of failure when we are not our best, when we are learning, when we are struggling. It invites in grace and humility and normalizes what learning and messing up really are. I make a mistake, I learned something from it, and I try again… no harm, no foul.
Do Overs allow for stigma free learning, creating, inventing, being brave for trying new experiences. We need the grace that a Do Over delivers us when we are vulnerable. It affords us time, space, and community support to grow. This would normalize what we know to be a natural learning curve and allow us to embrace that journey without hiding, feeling stupid and denial. How different would schools, workplaces and our homes be if we brought back Do Overs?
How wonderful would it be if in a meeting, on a project, in the classroom, at the dinner table we could all call a Do Over, take a moment, a breath, invite in grace and take another whack at it? Sign me up!
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