So here is the great news. We all make mistakes. No one has never not made a mistake, and continues to throughout their entire life. Mistakes are unavoidable and they don’t have to be seen as a negative. So, if mistakes are unavoidable we should accept them and take steps to learn from them. Instead of repeating them, we gain valuable wisdom that will help us in the future.
Here are five ways to learn from our mistakes:
1. Admit Your Mistakes
You may have been conditioned during childhood to hide your mistakes to avoid criticism, judgement or embarrassment. On the surface, this may make you feel a little better initially. However, below the surface, the mistake you made could eat you up with guilt and work its way to loss of confidence and self-esteem.
When you make a mistake, psychologically the best thing for you to do is to admit to it, take full responsibility, and then move on to resolve the mistake. Not only will this gain the respect of your peers, it will also give you peace of mind. The truth will always set you free and we need to make it a habit to own our mistakes without blame or excuses. There is no point in pointing the finger or shifting the responsibility. Living by one’s values and integrity is far more rewarding.
2. Shift Your Perspective About Mistakes
Stop viewing mistakes as something that are negative and hurtful. Instead, begin viewing mistakes as opportunities to re-evaluate the path you are taking towards your goals. Along the journey there are ups and downs and mistakes are a part of it. Stay focused on your goals and see every mistake as an opportunity to getting you one step closer to those goals.
Is it possible that a mistake could help you find a short-cut that you previously overlooked? Or maybe it is possible it could allow you to learn an important skill that will be vital for your future and your journey towards your goals. In fact, if anything, mistakes are a perfect opportunity to grow stronger and more resilient.
Resilience is needed to help you push forward despite the obstacles and setbacks along the way. And the more mistakes you make, the more resilient you will become, as long as you proactively learn from these mistakes and adapt your approach as needed.
3. Ask Yourself Tough Questions
While you don’t want to dwell on your mistakes, reflecting on them can be productive. Ask yourself a few great questions:
• What went wrong? If anything?
• What could I do better next time?
• What did I learn from this?
- How can I perceive this differently?
- How do I rectify this?
- How can I now use this to my advantage?
Write down your responses and you will start to see the situation with a lot more clarity. Writing your answers on paper will help you think more logically about an irrational or emotional experience.
You can then follow it up by writing down how you would like it to be and some of the actions you can take to achieve what you want. This process allows you to focus on what you want rather than what you don’t want.
4. Make A Plan
Beating yourself up for your mistakes won’t help you in any way. Dwelling on mistakes, rerunning the scenario in your mind and wishing you could take it back is of no value at all and can be harmful. Nothing you can do can change the past, so you have a choice. You can either dwell in misery, or spend the bulk of your time thinking and creating how you want it to be in the future.
Make a plan that will help you avoid making a similar mistake and help you grow from it. Be as detailed as possible but remain flexible since your plan may need to change. When you finally come to realise your plan and goal, this mistake becomes the greatest story on your journey to success.
Whether you find an accountability partner or you track your progress on a calendar, find a way to hold yourself accountable. This is key to helping you move forward.
5. Move Forward With Your New-Found Wisdom
Sometimes, mistakes are not just one big blunder. Instead, they can be a series of little choices that lead to failure. So, pay attention to your errors, no matter how big or small they may seem. Recognize that each mistake can be an opportunity to build your mental muscle and become stronger. Start viewing failure in a different light as well. Everything that has happened to you to date has brought to this exact point in life and this is exactly where you should be.
Finally, when you wake up every morning, wake up with a grateful attitude. Be grateful that you have been given the opportunity to make mistakes and experience the contrast. It’s in the contrast that life is so enjoyable and worth living for.
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