A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes,
smart enough to profit from them,
and strong enough to correct them.
– John C. Maxwell
Never, ever be afraid of making mistakes.
First, they are inevitable… so relax. You are human like everyone else.
Second, mistakes are an opportunity to grow. It is through mistakes that you learn about yourself and can become a better version of the current you.
Third, if you handle them properly, you will gain sooo much more than if you were mistake-less.
How? When you own your mistakes honestly, you gain new respect from others for handling them well. Imagine how refreshing that will be in a world of people scrambling to protect their image at all costs.
But, how do you handle those really painful mistakes that make you particularly mad at (or disappointed with) yourself?
Handling Your “Worst” Mistakes
A common tendency after certain mistakes is to beat yourself up, as though that will help prevent you from making future mistakes.
Listen carefully: research has shown that attempting to shame yourself to improve future performance actually backfires.
It makes it worse, not better.
- It Wasn’t On Purpose. You didn’t set out to mess up, did you? Despite your best efforts, you likely misunderstood or miscalculated something. Even if you try to eliminate every possible misunderstanding or miscalculation in the future, they will still occur. You are, after all, only human.
- If Someone Else Had Messed Up, You Would Be More Understanding. Treat yourself like you would treat someone who is struggling after a mistake– speak words of grace and support. You need it as much as they would.
- If This Is The Worst Mistake You Ever Make, You’re In Pretty Good Shape. Put it in perspective. At the time, it seems so huge. But, later you will wonder why you reacted out of proportion to the mistake.
Mistakes happen to the best of us. We learn from them… then we need to emotionally move on.
YOUR TURN! What have you learned from your past mistakes that helps you handle your current ones? Leave your insights below as a comment.