I used to think I'm a failure because of all the mistakes I've made and am still making. I used to think others were seeing me as a failure and was very self-conscious. Then I became an entrepreneur and my mistakes were very visible. I was an entrepreneur with " a poorly developed sense of fear and no concept of the odds against me." After hitting my head a couple of times against the wall, I evaluated and kept on trying, innovating, experimenting. After a while, I didn't notice failure but was keenly aware that my 'luck' was changing. Because of the mistakes I've made, I feel I'm a seasoned entrepreneur. I've come up through the ranks and still have more to learn and more (calculated) mistakes to make.
Michael Ignatieff, in his book Fire And Ashes, talked candidly about his mistakes in politics. My mistakes were visible but not public. His was as are those of people in entertainment, sports, business and government. My mistakes affected only me and my business and have lessons for no-one but me unless I talk about them. The mistakes of public figures impact many lives and have lessons for all.
We are programmed to think mistakes are synonomous with failure especially on a personal level. However, mistakes are really showing you that you are barking up the wrong tree. If you are not getting the result you want, you are making a mistake so stop, evaluate, adjust and start again. This process over the ages resulted in innovations, inventions and progress.
If you are living life hesitantly to avoid making mistakes, that's like walking on the sidewalk after the rain and tip-toeing to avoid the worms that came out.
Instead be like Gene Kelly in 'Singing In The Rain." Embrace life and feel no shame about making mistakes. Learn from them, share them and move on.
"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."