It's a great day to be alive, and a great day to learn from your mistakes. That's right, today I'd love to talk to you a little bit about learning from your mistakes. To err is human they say, and I for one can certainly attest to that. We were never meant to be perfect, perfection is an illusion, in fact it's our very blemishes, imperfections, and yes, mistakes, that make up the beauty of our individuality. Mistakes may affect you, they may change you, they may even feel like they define you, but you are not your mistakes and don't ever make the mistake of thinking you are. In reality, mistakes are the greatest learning opportunities we come across in our lives, they represent a prime opportunity to learn, grow, and adapt. With that in mind, here are 5 steps to learning from your mistakes:
1. Own the Mistake - The first step to learning from your mistakes requires the self awareness to acknowledge a mistake has been made. Nothing productive will ever come from staying in denial. Taking ownership involves informing those who need to know about the mistake, making apologies, and working on a solution. These are critical stepping stones to learning and growing from the experience, a good apology involves a deep understanding of where and why you went wrong and how it affected others, with this understanding comes to the ability not to become a repeat offender.
2. Forgive Yourself - Take a compassionate approach to the situation. While you must acknowledge you've made a mistake, you must also be able to forgive yourself and understand the situation for what it was, a mistake. This is important because wallowing in despair or regret, won't lead to learning. Use the emotions you feel as motivation to learn, grow, and adapt from this mistake. Think about how you can prevent the mistake from ever happening again, adopt a growth mindset and focus on positive changes you can make.
3. Analyze the Mistake - It's time to start looking at things objectively. What exactly went wrong? How did we get to that point? What could've been done to prevent this situation? Do you have to change your behaviour? Were you a victim of circumstance? You have to ask questions and you need to be honest with your answers. Going through this process will uncover the truth of the situation and will help you avoid making the same mistake twice.
4. Apply Your Learning - Adjust your behaviour accordingly. Take what you've learned and put it into action. This may require discipline and determination to change your habits or adjust pre-established methods of doing things. Whatever the adjustment, make sure you've put a system in place to help you adhere to them. This could involve anything from adhering yourself to a stricter schedule, or double and triple-checking your work. It's important to understand that these shouldn't be "quick fixes" the changes you make should become your new normal.
5. Change Your Mindset - Truly adopting a growth mindset doesn't just mean focussing on improvement. The best kind of growth mindset is one that focusses on broad growth, this means not just focussing on fixing your mistakes, but constantly striving to elevate yourself. It means seeing where mistakes might happen before they do. This requires analyzing your life through the lens of where you want to see yourself in the future, what are you doing right now to make that vision a reality? What are you doing right now that is hindering that vision? Adopting this mindset will allow you to sidestep future mistakes and focus on your own evolution.
It's important to remember that mistakes are inevitable, you've made them before and you will make them again. If there's one thing you should take away from this it's the fact that it never helps to dwell on your mistakes. Instead, refer to these steps: acknowledge what happened, forgive yourself, analyze objectively, apply the lessons learned, and prioritize evolution over resolutions. With the right mindset, there are no losses in life, only wins and lessons.