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10 Of The Greatest Mistakes I’ve Made As A Woman (to date)

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I’VE made so many mistakes in my life, I’ve lost count.

I’ve cried so many times, I’m amazed I have any tears left.

I’ve picked myself up from rock bottom on so many occasions, that I’ve gotten rather good now at getting on with life when the s**t hits the fan or when things go horribly wrong.

But yet I still wouldn’t change any of it for the world.

Sure there are things I’m embarrassed about and even a few things I’m ashamed of, but I have no regrets. Every mistake truly has been a lesson. A big ol’ shove towards being the woman I hope and want to be.

If I’d had any sense though, I’d have learnt my lesson from other people’s lessons.

I’d have listened and paid attention. That would have been the smart thing to do.

But hey, at least now I’ve got stuff to write about. *winks*

Here are ten of the greatest mistakes I’ve made as a woman. If you’re a smart cookie, listen up, because it may just save you some heartache.


1) Confusing lust with love

If I had a pound for every time I’ve made this humdinger of a mistake… well let’s just say, I’d have enough to buy myself one very fancy pair of shoes.

And I lay the blame firmly at my groin’s door. For the confusion, the agony and all the unsuitable men.  (Not that there’s been that many but you know.)

For many years, particularly in my late teens, I thought lust was a sign of true love. That desire equalled longing. That longing equalled love.

But now I know that the butterflies, the fast beating heart, the sweaty palms and the nerves, whilst totally delicious and intoxicating are not signs of love. But of infatuation. Giddiness. And of lust.

And while all of these do have a place in a love story, these signs alone, do not mean it’s the real deal.


2) Thinking I could change people

That bad boy I thought I could tame? I couldn’t. The man who abused me, that I thought I could love to a healthier place? I couldn’t. The friend I hoped I could save, I couldn’t.

I tried. For all of them. But I failed.

People can change but we cannot change them, no matter how much we want to. No matter how much they may need our help.

Some people do change but most people don’t. So save your efforts for those who want to and let the ones who don’t, get on with things themselves.


3) Not appreciating my worth

People treat us as we treat ourselves. I used to think this was a load of baloney, but guess what, it’s turned out to be true.

Our worth does not and cannot come from other people. From what they think about us or how they behave towards us. It has to come from us.

I used to think that the kinder I was, the more I gave, the harder I tried, the more people would love and appreciate me. But I was wrong. So very wrong.

Because nothing changed and all that happened was that I ended up losing myself, my dignity and their respect in the process.

You have to appreciate your own worth, know your value and refuse anything less than to be treated the way you deserve, for others to treat you well.


4) Thinking I wasn’t good enough

Oh how wrong I was. Because guess what? I totally am. And so are you.


5) Hanging on to people for too long

Throughout my life I have given people too many chances, listened to too many apologies and stayed around for far too long.

And this isn’t anybody’s fault but my own.

People show us who they are, all of the time, through their actions and their words. The signs, the red flags, the flashing lights are all there for us to see if we pay attention, which is why choosing to ignore them and continually putting blind faith and hope in someone, is really rather stupid.

If people hurt you once, forgive them. If people hurt you twice, be cautious. If people hurt you again, ditch them.

Never hang on to people who treat you shabbily or to relationships that are drowning. Sometimes – no matter how much you love someone – you have to save yourself.


6) Caring too much about what other people think

When I was 11 years old, I went up to ‘big school’ and immediately gave up playing the violin because I was frightened of being disliked or mocked by my peers.

A classic mistake. And a rather stupid one too because we have less control over people’s feelings and opinions about us, than we think.

Some people will love you. A handful would probably even die for you. But many others won’t and certainly wouldn’t.

If you’re lucky, you’ll be liked by many and hated by a few. But make no mistake, everyone is disliked by someone and that’s ok.

You cannot make people like you and you sure as hell, cannot make people love you. So you’re best off forgetting about what other’s think and just concentrate on being yourself.


7) Failing to live up to my own potential

For my University dissertation, I got a score of 68. Two measly points off a first (the highest grade you can get). I was pretty happy with this score and still am, but yet I can’t help but wonder what I could have achieved if I’d just pushed myself that little bit harder.

I used to think I didn’t apply myself properly because I didn’t need to or because I was lazy. But now as an adult I know the truth.

I was s**t scared. Scared of realising my potential. Scared of achieving something greater.

The comfort zone appeals to us because it’s warmer and safer. We know where we are and what to do to get by. But here lies too many broken dreams.

Wanna reach your potential? Then get out there and face your fears.


8) Thinking other people were my responsibility

It’s a heavy weight to bear when you’re carrying other people’s burdens and expectations. When you feel like someone else’s happiness is your responsibility.

But bar being a parent and being responsible for your children, no one else’s happiness is our cross to bear. And no one should ever expect us to make them happy. Because we simply can’t. It is beyond our control.

The only person who is responsible for my life and for my happiness in this world, is me. And that’s just the way I like it.


9) Not realising that dreams can come true

Freelancing changed my life. Because for the first time ever, it made me realise how much control I have of my own destiny.

When I first started nearly five years I was terrified. Of all of it. But making my own money, finding my own work and achieving success in my own right, has been liberating and life changing.

I now know that there is never any harm in asking for anything, when the worst possible answer can only be no.

I now know that opportunities come to those who seek them and work hard to find them.

I now know that treating all people well and with respect, pays dividends when it comes to both personal and professional success.

And I now know that dreams can indeed come true but only if you go out there and make them happen.


10) Thinking that my mistakes would ruin my life

When I was 17, I did something that I thought I would never recover from. When I was 18, I stayed in an abusive relationship for so long, that I lost part of my soul. When I was 19, I hooked up with a dreadful group of people.

When I was 23, I moved to a place where I knew no one but my partner and felt the loneliest I’d ever felt. When I was 27, I went to a job that was totally wrong for me and thought I’d ruined my career. When I was 31, I worked for clients that I hated. When I was 34, I made the mistake of believing someone and ignoring their actions.

Yet, I am happy. And very much alive.

Our mistakes in life can often take us to the pits of despair and force us down on our knees, but if there’s one thing I have learned from all of them, it is this.

More often than not, our mistakes are the very making of us. If, we allow them to be.


Which is the greatest life mistake you’ve made as an adult and what it has taught you? Would love to hear all of your thoughts on this one!

With love,












Lovely readers – if I’ve ever made you think, warmed your cockles or made you feel inspired or entertained, I would absolutely love it if you would be kind enough to nominate me for a Brilliance in Blogging Award.  Just click on the badge above or read this post for more info. Thank you! x

This post is linked to #SundayStars#AllAboutYou and #BrilliantBlogPosts

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32 Discussions on
“10 Of The Greatest Mistakes I’ve Made As A Woman (to date)”
  • I love this! I think there are so many women, myself included, who can hold up their hands and say they have done the same. We make mistakes, take wrong turns and being able to acknowledge, then move on from them is therapeutic and healthy.
    So well written, as always!

  • Another stonking post, Katie. Your honesty is inspirational – we all make mistakes of some sort during the course of our lives – it’s part of life – what counts is how we move on from those mistakes.

    I think the biggest mistakes I’ve made echo a few of yours – failing to live up to my potential, believing I’m not good enough, worrying what others think, and wasting time on people who didn’t deserve it. Well, no longer! Life is too short. xxx

  • So brave and honest of you to write this post. Yes I have made mistakes, many. But like you say, I don’t think I’d be the person I am today without those mistakes. To borrow a line from Adele ‘regrets and mistakes, they are memories made’ and so much more. One mistake I remember clearly was not taking my fathers advice on what I should do when I finished Uni – and I regret it this day. But that’s just one of many mistakes – there have been relationships I shouldn’t have got in to, worrying too much about others and quite a few more from your list. But we live and learn each day so I think there will be many more mistakes to come. x

  • This is such a great post – so inspiring. I can indentify with all of your points. My 11th point will probably be not following your example though – I’ve got complete lack of follow through and am easily distracted (by kids, life and my, er, iphone).

  • Ah Kate, loved this post. The groin-brain – I hear you! I’m always thinking I’m not good enough, which is stupid. Really it is. Failing to live up to my potential has been a chronic disease in my life. I have always been lazy, relying on my natural ability to do pretty well at things without putting much effort in. Always scoring averagely at school when I could have excelled. It is terribly frustrating when I look back, and must have been equally as frustrating for my parents. However (I’m not meaning to boast), on a rare occasion that I did decide to excel myself, I managed to score 80% for my dissertation, which bumped my entire degree up to a 2:1. I got that by the skin of my teeth, and to this day, I’ve always been so proud of that dissertation. It goes to show what you can do if you put the effort in (and are ultimately passionate about what it is you’re doing, which I really was on that occasion).

    Love your honesty here so much, and loved reading this post x

  • Such a thought-provoking post – so true that our mistakes are the making of us. For me one of the biggest lessons has been learning that I cannot change other people and caring too much about what other people think. I’ve learned that I need to be comfortable in my own skin and that the only person I have any power to change is myself and if I can’t accept someone else as they are, then I need to move on. I try not to regret things – without the mistakes I’ve made I wouldn’t be who I am today and where I am today but the learning along the way has been very challenging at times!

  • This post is fantastic! Your writing is beautiful. Every time I read one of your posts I stop and think :-) I don’t know what else to say but thank you for sharing! :-)

  • Another fabulous post from you. I, like everyone else, have made mistakes. Living up to my potential at university, I too like you was 2 points off a 1st and regret that hugely, I know I could of done it if I had put in a little more effort. We live and learn though don’t we and although I’m still making mistakes, my latest one was not listening to my gut regarding a client, I think I’m doing alright. I love your honesty Kate and how you manage to hit the nail on the head everytime. I’m sure everyone who reads this will be sat nodding along. Xx

  • Lovely post…we’ve all been there…but the thing that sets us apart is whether we learned from our mistakes or not! #TheList

  • Ah, such a wonderful post. We all make mistakes but the greatest mistake is regret, because that means not learning from each experience. I’ve believed someone loved me when they didn’t, taken a safer or more dangerous path when perhaps I shouldnt have, but I always think that every apparent mistake is a step to take me on the road to where I am now, and for that I have no regrets! Xx

  • Hi Kate, brilliant and honest post. Thanks so much for sharing. Ive tried to help people that don’t want to be helped,p too – comes a time when you just have to cut them loose and surround yourself with positive people. Fear can be a paralysing force, can’t it? I’m getting a lot better with it but can see in my younger days how it held me back. I’ve made a ton of mistakes in my life but have learnt a lot from them and will be able to pass them onto my daughter and help and inspire her to laugh in the face of fear. #thelist

  • This is so wonderfully uplifting Katie. I have made many, many mistakes in my life and it takes a long time to come to terms with some of the things I’ve done and let happen. Just reading this makes me feel so much better about myself.

    At this juncture in my life I’m tucking away point 7 as a reminder.

    Thank you darling xxx

  • This is an amazing post, you are so right about not keeping people in your life that are bad for you, and I 100% agree with you that peoples opinions of me are their problems not mine. I try to be honest and true to myself and let people make their own opinions x

  • This is a truly great post. I too had the ‘groin brain’ and wasted my twenties on a man I couldn’t change. He is still the same and is not changing for his current girlfriend.
    But one day a lush little bald fella asked me out on a date. He looked like my Dad. I went just so I could tell him that I wasn’t interested…let him down gently. By the second date I knew I would marry him.
    And I did.
    Ps. You should take up the violin again. I often teach adults who quit when they were young and come back to it later. I have one guy who took up the cello again and now he is grade 8 and is out doing gigs!
    My coolest friends are violinists! Xx

  • Oh I absolutely LOVE this post! So so true and rings lots (and lots) of bells with me. Especially since I’m just about to start a Freelance PR career after years of working in the industry, and I’m pretty excited (but also bricking it!). Thanks for the inspirational words xxx

  • Another brilliant post, I can resonate with so much of this! I think my biggest mistake is taking a silly degree! My time at uni was brilliant but I wish I’d studied something worthwhile that I could have actually had a career in! #SundayStars

  • Fantastic post. I think most people admit to having made similar mistakes in life. It’s what makes us the amazing people we are today.
    My biggest mistake is turning down my teacher training and taking a job that makes me miserable. Hoping I can rectify that in the next few years.

  • Oooh I have made too many to note… and some that perhaps I’m not even ready to share yet.
    But I believe that overcoming them and accepting that they’re all part of growing as a person is an amazingly empowering thing.
    Amazing post xx

  • It’s inspirational posts like yours Katy that make blogging such a special and personal activity, for both the readers and the writers out there. I’ve made tons of mistakes in my life I’m sure, but they are just the downs to my ups, the cons to my pros, and without them my life wouldn’t have shape and contrast, it would be bland and forgettable. And without my mistakes I couldn’t steer my girls to avoid making the same ones in their lives, so they were all worth it in the end. Looking forward to reading more of your lovely posts in the future x

  • Really honest post, and it does often take someone else saying it, for a reader to believe what they might have been thinking.

    I don’t tend to have regrets, but I have to say that my biggest mistake was underestimating what the OH would be like after we’d had our son. He was the one who was keen on having children. Before kids he was quite hard to get away on holiday, and take time off, but after having N he’s terrible. I thought he might have improved a bit and do family things, but he does nothing. I feel sad for N (it’s better now N is old enough to go out on the farm with him), that we never have family days out, we’ve only had one family holiday in 4 years. So I just try and make it so we go out and do things.

    You just never know what people are going to do or how they’ll change even when you think you know them really well.

  • I met my (second) husband when I was just about to turn 40 and he always says to me that one of the biggest regrets is that he didn’t meet me earlier. But I know that if we had met earlier then we would never have worked out as a couple – because I hadn’t yet made the mistakes and learnt the lessons that taught me what is really valuable in life and in love. Lovely post, thanks.

  • What an honest and thoughtful post and I agree with every comment. So many of these mistake/traps I fall into too. Particularly self worth. I have just started my own home business and really feel your comments about being in charge of your own destiny too. It makes such a difference.

  • Brilliantly honest post. I’ve made a fair few of these mistakes myself but like you said, I’m here to tell the tale and am perfectly happy. Thanks for linking up with #SundayStars xxx

  • You go girl … woman! I once read that person who has never made any mistake has never made anything. We truly, mainly learn and improve from our mistakes; if we got it all right all the time, there won’t be anything to learn! Good on you for improving your lot in life, and sharing about it. #aNoviceMumTwitterFeed

  • Great post, so so true. I, too, have suffered all my life from thinking I wasn’t good enough and caring too much about what others think of me – basically comparing myself to others and being my own harshest critic. It’s only now that I am getting older that I have the maturity to see my self worth and to overcome those years of self-doubt – albeit very slowly, but I’m getting there. Thank you for such a positive and thought provoking post! x

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