Every mistake you make is progress.
Raise your hand if you have ever….
- blown a big presentation
- screwed up a job interview
- made the wrong call for a work decision
I have definitely made all three of these and many more. Mistakes are part of life – we all make them. Dear friends, WE ARE HUMAN! The sooner we can accept our mistakes and embrace the hidden opportunity in every failure, the better we will be.
I love failing – sure, my ego is bruised for a bit – but at the end of the day, I learn a whole lot more from failing than I ever will from succeeding. There is not better opportunity to improve yourself and your organization by trial and error (emphasis on the error part).
Learning to fail well means learning to understand your mistakes. To do that, we need to have the right mindset. I’ve talked about a growth mindset a lot throughout my blog and once again I am bringing it up. A GROWTH MINDSET mean understanding and believing that your talents can be developed. The way I see it is that mistakes are the best way to develop your talents and skills – you just need to reframe your mindset to appreciate the opportunities in every failure.
My experience has led me to believe that there are three steps to making mistakes positive and productive:
- OWN IT! Own up to it and call yourself out. Say to your boss/spouse/friend/supervisor/whoever! that you make the mistake and identify the things that you didn’t consider. This is the first step to getting the most out of your mistakes – the open dialogue that will ensue after you own it will be a great learning experience in itself and I can guarantee your boss will give you clarity and direction for moving forward.
- REFLECT, don’t dwell. Okay, so you made a mistake….where did you go wrong? How did you get to this place? What can you do differently in the future to ensure it doesn’t happen again? Focus on the WHY and be sure to write down your responses so you can reference it in the future! Reflecting on the experience and finding opportunities to learn from it is what will allow you to move forward and be better.
- MOVE ON. You made a mistakes and maybe fell flat on your face – it sucks, I get it. Own it, learn from it and then MOVE ON. Don’t fall into perfectionist mode. You can either let fear and doubt consume every decision you make in the future OR you can use that experience to make better informed decisions moving forward. Your choice!
Mistakes will happen; don’t let them cripple or consume you. Know that every mistake you make is progress and striving for perfection will be self-destructive. So put yourself out there, go for it and don’t be afraid to make a mistake.
Mistakes have the power to turn you into something better than you were before.
Embrace the day!
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