Most of us would agree that life is about being the best version of ourselves we possibly can. This doesn’t always come easily; with so many variables involved including people, situations and our very own personalities, we’re presented with many challenges. In the end, it’s these very challenges which help us to grow into that best version of ourselves, but what happens when we make a mistake? We’ve all been there, making mistakes is inevitable, but for many of us, it can be an incredibly uncomfortable experience. So how do we make the most of our mistakes?
Making the most of our mistakes
1. Admit you’ve made one. The sooner you admit to making your mistake, the sooner you and the people affected can begin to heal and grow from the experience. If you’re hell-bent on justifying it or acting like it didn’t happen out of pride or embarrassment, you’re missing the point, and the opportunity for growth. It takes way more courage to admit you’ve made a mistake than to not take ownership. Apologize with dignity.
2. Forgive yourself for not being perfect. This goes double for perfectionists! As the saying goes, nobody is perfect, and repeat that if it doesn’t ring true the first time. Making a mistake doesn’t make you less of a person, it only confirms you’re a human being like everyone else. There is no shame in making a mistake, only in not learning from it. Mistakes don’t define us, but how we handle them certainly shows what we’re made of.
3. Understand why it happened. Retrace your steps, your actions, and your thought process that led to you making the mistake. This is absolutely key in preventing it from happening again. And you can surely bet it will happen again if you do nothing to remedy it – that’s what patterns are. What could you have done differently to avoid making the mistake? At what point would you be able to change the outcome if the same situation came up again?
4. Put fear by the wayside. Sometimes we can be so afraid of making a mistake that we limit ourselves. This is not living – accept the fact that you will make mistakes many times in your lifetime. Isn’t it kind of freeing to accept this fact? It’s part of our experience on planet Earth. Try new things, take risks, and seek out new experiences. If you make a mistake, see it as an opportunity, not a failure, keep your head up, and use the experience as an opportunity to make yourself an even better you.