Stop beating yourself up over that mistake
The most important lessons that I have learned in life and business have come from facing really tough challenges or making mistakes. Mistakes are a lesson in wisdom, part of life’s rich pageant – so long as we learn from them. As Albert Einstein once said,
Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new
Too right. Mistakes are proof that you are trying – yet the aftermath can be emotionally draining. There is some good news for those of us who are not infallible – do you know that there is evidence that when we make mistakes, new neural connections are formed so that your brain learns lessons from messing things up?
Next time you get things wrong, you will want to take action to reduce as much fallout as possible – but then rather than continuing to beat yourself up about it in the dead of night, try my top tips:
- Wait until you are no longer ruffled by the situation before you really mull over what went wrong. You need a calm mind before you start digging up the drains on the challenge you’ve faced.
- Take responsibility for what went wrong but also consider circumstances that were outside your control yet played a part in the situation.
- Be gentle on yourself. What is the ghastliest thing that could happen?
- Seek ‘one’ valuable lesson from the incident and pledge to face the situation in a better way next time. Be grateful for that lesson.
- If the negative thoughts resurface – quickly replace them by reiterating what you learned.
- You might even practice what you would do in future if the same set of circumstances arose
- View the lessons you have learned as an opportunity for personal growth
We all make mistakes – in the car, with the kids, with that outfit, in marriage, in friendship, in politics and in business. Big or small – the world is jam packed full of people regretting what they did.
As a rule of thumb, admit your own before you point someone else’s out and take the chance to learn from experience. Every problem in life is an opportunity to improve and grow.
Ruth Gawthorpe is the owner of The Change Directors and works with business and HR Teams to transform operations and culture. Call her now on 07976 509 551