“AS the new year begins, we are often bombarded with ideas about how we can make changes or resolutions to be a ‘better’ person. It was, therefore, refreshing to read in The Times over the holidays a columnist who, rather than extolling us to make changes, wrote that she was approaching the new year by anticipating all the mistakes she was going to make.

“This might seem a rather pessimistic outlook but in effect, she was of the view that we will inevitably get things wrong or things will go wrong, and that it is our attitude to these setbacks that is important. How we deal with mistakes and rectify things perhaps says more about us than the initial mistake.

“This reminded me of the phrase from my early days of learning to ski: ‘if you are not falling over, you are not getting better’. Fear of getting things wrong, particularly in school with friends looking on, only adds to the pressure that our teenagers face.

“I would encourage us all to be less fearful of mistakes and setbacks, and where possible, see mistakes and setbacks as opportunities to learn and do a little better next time around.”

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