How to learn from mistakes and make them our best teacher?
From a very young age, we believe that making a mistake is an awful thing. Mistakes lead to failures, and failures are painful. Memories of past failures trigger negative emotions like fear and anxiety.
Mistakes prevent us from taking risks in the present and future, play safe, and do nothing big. Many of us are stuck in this sinkhole. We all actually miss that we can learn a lot from mistakes.
In this world, there is nobody who hasn’t done a mistake. It’s inevitable and part of being human.
But, why do we fear so much about making mistakes and fail? Why is it that making a mistake is considered bad?
A mistake means an act or judgment that is misguided or wrong. It is likely to have consequences with negative impact — physical or emotional or both.
Human evolution has taught us to learn from our mistakes and progress the right way. As children, we used to try and fail, accept our mistakes, raise and move ahead. That’s how we have learned all our first lesions. But as we grow, we tend to forget those basics. We ignore our mistakes and get stuck with our rigid mindset. We feel the stress of making a mistake, and this sheer guilt can crush us.
In this article, I bring to you 8 important lessons from my experiences, with which you can feel better about your mistakes. How it will help you to get over your fears of making a mistake and, in fact, will enable you to learn from your mistakes.
You can make your experiences count as you go forward.
1. It’s perfectly Okay to make Mistakes
Thomas Edison once said that I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. That’s a complete change in the perspective of how we look at failures.
Mistakes are proof that you are trying something. It’s better always to try doing something and learn than avoid doing anything and being standstill.
Just remember, it’s okay to make mistakes. Life does not come with instructions. The biggest mistake you can ever make in your life is too afraid to make a mistake.
See your failures as stepping stones to greatness and let go of your fear of getting it wrong. A mistake can be an error, a wrong decision, a goof-up, a miscalculation, or at times it can be a blunder. Everyone makes mistakes. Even the grownups do them. That’s how we learn and make progress.
2. Own up your mistake. It’s no Crime.
Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard and started a company, Traf-O-Data, which went nowhere. But his passion for computers remained. He built the Microsoft Empire and is now one of the wealthiest men in the world.
Always own your mistake. Never try to blame others. Never try to think too much about your mistakes. Maintain balance. Don’t pressure yourself; always thinking about whether your next step will be a big mistake.
Admit your mistakes before somebody else notices them and points them out. With this, you can ease out your emotions, and you can also get the support required from your friends/colleagues/family members to come out of it.
Admitting your mistakes doesn’t diminish your strength. It only makes you more courageous. Accepting that failure is a part of the process will motivate you to take more risks and try harder.
Bill Gates took risk. He didn’t give up. He worked hard and built Microsoft.
3. Don’t let your mistakes Crush you.
Don’t keep your mistakes on your head, as the sheer pressure that you had made a mistake will crush you. We do stupid things when we are stressed out. Instead, keep them under your feet and use them as a stepping stone towards your growth.
Don’t regret, fret about your mistakes and live in your past. To move ahead in your life, you have to come to terms with your mistakes. Never worry about your mistakes. Your mistake does not define who you are.
A life spent by making mistakes is not only more honorable but useful than a life spent doing nothing. Forgive yourself that you did not know the way what you didn’t know before you’ve learned it.
4. Don’t let your mistakes go Waste without any learning
The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing
— Henry Ford
Don’t ignore or erase your mistakes. If you attempt to hide, deny or cover up your mistakes, you will lose trust. While we can learn and move on with our mistakes, it is difficult to repair a damaged reputation.
Don’t stick with your mistakes. Instead, learn from your mistakes. Remember, everybody makes mistakes. We all have struggles in our lives. You now have the power to shape your future.
Sometimes, second chances work better than the first chance because you have learned from your mistakes. Never carry your mistakes forward into your future. In every mistake, there is growth potential. Take time and reflect on your mistake. Make full use of it to get better.
5. Always Learn from your Mistakes.
You do not learn anything by doing things always the right way. Making mistakes is not a problem at all. But not learning from them is the biggest problem. They have the power to turn you better.
If you can learn from the worst days of your life, you will be ready to go into the best times of your life. Mistakes are proof that you are trying. You can learn great lessons from your mistakes if you aren’t busy denying them. Fight back. Be energized by failure. Look for the opportunities it brings.
6. Apologize & be consistent
Sometimes your mistakes may result in losses: financial, time, effort—quality, etc. Apologize sincerely for your mistakes. Let people know that you sincerely feel about your mistakes. Apologize to anyone who is affected by your mistake.
Treat yourself the way you treat your team member when they do any mistake.
7. Act fast to Correct / rectify
Once you noticed a mistake and the negative consequences of it, act fast to rectify it. Don’t be slow to fix it. Reach out to your team and take help if need be. Follow up on the actions until you ensure that everything is all right.
Identify the root cause of the mistake. Find out the actions that have resulted in making a mistake. Evaluate what actions would have prevented the mistake from happening. Drill down and address the root cause.
8. Get Inspired and Stay Inspired
Mistakes give you valuable feedback on what works for you and what does not. It helps you to take responsibility. You will not say, It’s not my fault.
Mistakes teach integrity, as often it happens when you over-commit, underestimate, agree to avoid conflict. Big mistakes often start with small mistakes.
Mistakes help you to inspire others and yourself. It’s a valuable source of inspiration and will enrich your life. It helps you to try new things and expand your horizons.
Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly
— Robert F Kennedy
You can also read this very interesting article : 10 Lessons I Learned From Making Many Mistakes In My 20s by Darius Foroux, which will give some valuable insights based on his personal experience.
How have you come over your mistakes and moved ahead? Reflect on your experiences.
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