“Honesty is the fastest way to prevent a mistake from turning into a failure.” – James Altucher
In one of my recent Vlogs, I talked about blaming others when we find ourselves overwhelmed with challenges. We don’t take responsibility for our actions and act like a victim, helpless to our situation.
When we make mistakes, we do the same – we try to blame others because it’s just too painful to feel like we failed. But if we don’t take responsibility for our mistakes, we avoid all the learnings. We must admit our mistakes, be accountable for our actions, move away from blame and move towards understanding what went wrong. There is no shame in making mistakes, only in not learning from them. Many of us feel when we fail, we are failures, when we make a mistake, we are a mistake. This is of course not true but the shame of failing sometimes is so great, it feels that way.
Mistakes are a learning opportunity but in learning, one must be willing to be completely honest about the facts. Learning requires ownership – I allowed this to happen knowing or unknowingly. I need to figure out what went wrong, unemotionally, and understand why whatever happened, happened!
Don’t compare the next time with the last time because the situation won’t be the same. Every situation will have a different outcome when new learnings from previous mistakes are applied.
Change your perspective – making mistakes is showing you are trying new things, experimenting and being courageous. If you never make a mistake, never take risks, you are not growing and developing your true potential.
How many of us have failed at something we are attempting to do, accomplish, or achieve? The correct answer is all of us – everyone of us fail from time to time. What do you do when you make a mistake? Do you give up, move on to something else or do you dust yourself off and start over?
Successful people certainly do the latter – develop resilience, tenacity and have a ‘can do’ mentality. Mistakes/failing is not the end but rather a bump in the road, a stumbling block, something to be avoided in the future. Mistakes reviewed equals possible future successes. Lessons learned builds resilience, leads to a growth mindset and creativity in individuals who cannot be kept down or held back.
So next time you find something failed or a mistake was made, ask yourself:
There will be any number of questions that arise after your review, but that is good, take the time to answer the questions – these will help you create your roadmap to avoid similar failures, and future success. Taking responsibility is always key, and the more you review, the more you will make improvements and grow.