Mistakes are Inevitable. Here’s How to Learn from Them.
This article will ring true to the perfectionist in all of us. Most people hate making mistakes, and dislike even more admitting to their mistakes. However, learning from your errors is crucial for any personal development to take place in your life because mistakes are bound to happen.
For some reason, making a mistake has an incredibly bad reputation in today’s culture. In the home and in school, we teach that mistakes are shameful and they’re seen as failures. However, these stumbling blocks are actually essential tools that every person can learn from for increased success and growth.
Acceptance. Accepting responsibility for your mistakes, especially when it involves others, increases a sense of responsibility and encourages trust in your relationships. It is the first thing that must be done in order for any learning to take place.
You’re not the mistake. It’s important to understand that just because you made a mistake doesn’t make you a mistake. Humans are imperfect and we do many things in blunder. However, the biggest mistake you can make is not learning from it to begin with.
Response. How you choose to respond after you’ve messed up is entirely up to you. If you really want to see personal growth in your life, responding out of acceptance and in the spirit of learning will far improve your development over that of distress and aggression.
Improvement. You will never realize the room for improvement if you never make mistakes. When you mess something up or fail to resolve an issue, this reveals an area in your life that could stand for improvement or more learning. When you see each misstep as an opportunity to improve, your growth will skyrocket.
Understand. Once a mistake has been made, take a moment to understand why it happened. Look for the little mistakes that led to the overall big mistake. Understanding the root of the mistake will teach you how to avoid it in the future.
Alternatives. Possibly the best lesson mistakes can teach us is thinking outside the box. As the old saying goes: “If at first you don’t succeed try, try again.” This is so true with mistakes. It took Edison countless tries to invent the light bulb. As his mistakes kept piling up, he didn’t give up, but looked for better alternatives to his problem.
Attitude. This is possibly the hardest lesson to learn, but if you can master a good attitude after committing a huge error, your life will be a lot smoother. Accepting mistakes for what they are, seeing the room for improvement, or the need to look for alternatives, helps develop character and perseverance.
Never give up. Finally, as our 42nd president, Bill Clinton, once said:
“If you live long enough you’ll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you’ll be a better person. It’s how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit.”