It is a fundamental fact of life that we all make mistakes. The question is, how do you deal with your mistakes? When you make a mistake, does it keep you from trying again or do you get even more juiced to try again until you succeed? Do you even acknowledge that you might have made a mistake? Do you take steps to correct mistakes or to make sure the same mistakes don’t happen again?
Everybody has a different way to deal with the mistakes in their lives, and a lot of this depends on your conditioning and the level of loss you have suffered. Usually it is your emotions and perspectives that dictate the level of your losses. Experience is sometimes overrated: a cat who sits on a hot stove may not sit on a cold stove again.
It is important to keep your mistakes in proper perspective. Your perspective can change your entire focus and outlook on any situation. Some of the most successful people in the world are also known for their failures. Babe Ruth, the baseball player, in the same year he broke the world record in home runs also had the most strikeouts. Walt Disney went bankrupt five times before he found his success.
The lessons I have learned from some of the most successful people in the world on mistakes are as follows.
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. A person who never fails is more often than not the person who never takes chances. As Wayne Gretzky put it, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” You have to be willing to fail if you want to win, and you have to play before you can win.
- It is better to make small mistakes than large mistakes. Big mistakes can take a long time to recover. Some big mistakes can be irrevocable and can cost you dearly. In other words, be able to sustain the losses associated with your mistakes.
- If you’ve made a mistake, admit it. Sometimes we are tempted to blame our mistakes on circumstances and other things, but it is better to own up to our own mistakes. You’ll sleep better at night.
- If you make a mistake, work towards correcting it as soon as possible. Here’s a small example: If you painted your room a wrong color and it doesn’t suit you, change it right away. Don’t rationalize and try to live with it. It is better you correct it now than kick yourself every time you look at that color. The bigger mistake would be to live with your mistakes.
- Learn from your mistakes. It sounds simple, but many people are in habitual patterns of thinking and never try to learn from their mistakes. Take some time to analyze your process and work towards changing your strategies.
- Forgive yourself and others for their mistakes. No one is infallible. Recognize that everyone can make mistakes, including yourself. The sooner you can forgive yourself as well as others who have trespassed against you, the better off you will be. There is no point in carrying all of the extra baggage when it won’t solve anything.
I think you will agree that we all have a lot to give and share with the world around us. Whether you are contributing your talent, ideas or services, if you are not willing to try and fail, then the loss is not only for you, but for everyone who will miss out on your gifts. Remember, even a turtle can only move when he sticks his neck out!
The Noticer: Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective.
By Andy Andrews
A heartwarming book about a boy who started out homeless and meets a friend named Jones, who gives him a new perspective on his life and opportunities. Jones seems to appear from nowhere and gives all of the people in the town priceless advice on perspective. The book is a refreshing look at challenges we all experience in a variety of forms. Sometimes all we need is a little lesson on perspective. You can get this as an audiobook as well as in print. The audio narration is well done, with different voices by the author giving it a conversational flair.
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