Stumbling Forward: On Embracing Your Mistakes as You Stumble Towards Success


Most people see me as a “professional”… as someone who is smart, who has their act together or as someone who knows what they’re doing all the time.

This makes me laugh.

Growing up, I never thought I could do anything, especially when it came to computers or cameras.

I took one photography class in college and on a ABCDF scale, I made a D.

Yes, I nearly failed my only semester of photography.

Years later, I bought a book called “Digital Photography for Dummies” cause I thought of myself as an idiot.

It was 3 years of shooting “professionally” before someone told me there was an “in-camera light meter”. I had no idea.

I once drove 3 hours east to Knoxville, TN when I was supposed to drive 4 hours south to Atlanta.

I once bought the same magazine twice in a row in a 10 minute span because I forgot that I had already purchased it.

I once ate lunch at a restaurant by myself, when an entire creative department at a record label was eating next door, waiting on me to arrive. We had a meeting and I forgot. But I still somehow managed to go eat by myself. NEXT DOOR.

Recently I showed up to a big photoshoot and didn’t bring any cameras with me.

Every time I hold up a camera to my face, the lens cap is still on.

Last year I was holding some chips in my left hand and I saw my bluetooth earpiece laying on the ground. I picked it up and put it in my mouth. Got my hands confused I guess??

Last week, I sent out my second-ever email to my mailing list of 20,000 people and the email was full of mistakes. Many of those people emailed back to let me know. (That was a fun time.)

I drive past my own driveway frequently. I look for my phone while I’m talking on it. I can never remember people’s names. EVER.

The last couple years, my balance has gotten really bad. I walk into walls at least a few times a day. I don’t know what’s going on but I can’t walk straight to save my life.

I’m so dumb that my friends will text me and tell me “Hey I just pulled a Jeremy!”

What does “Pulling a Jeremy” mean? They did something stupid. Really stupid.

So why am I telling you all this?

Because I like mistakes. I think they’re funny. I embrace them. I’m the first to point at myself and laugh.

Yet, people still see me as “successful”. Why? Because I keep stumbling forward.

Mistakes don’t slow me down and they certainly don’t stop me. If anything, they keep propelling me forward.

My career is one big mess of mistakes, stumbling around lost and confused and forgetting everything.

But I just Keep. Moving. Forward.

What about you? Are you letting the mistakes slow you down?

I hope not. It’s time to laugh and embrace them.

About the author: Jeremy is a Celebrity Photographer, Entrepreneur and a Humanitarian. He founded a global photography movement called Help-Portrait and recently launched an iPhone App/Social Network called OKDOTHIS. His goal in life is to use his platform, ideas and creativity to inspire and help others in need. You follow him and see more of his work on his website, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram and OKDOTHIS. This article was originally published here.