”Mistakes are always forgivable if one has the courage to admit them. ”
You can only learn from a mistake after you admit you’ve made it. As soon as you start blaming other people (or the universe itself) you distance yourself from any possible lesson. But if you courageously stand up and honestly say “This is my mistake and I am responsible” the possibilities for learning will move towards you. Admission of a mistake, even if only privately to yourself, makes learning possible by moving the focus away from blame assignment and towards understanding. Wise people admit their mistakes easily. They know progress accelerates when they do.
”The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.”
This advice runs counter to the cultural assumptions we have about mistakes and failure, namely that they are shameful things. We’re taught in school, in our families, or at work to feel guilty about failure and to do whatever we can to avoid mistakes. This sense of shame combined with the inevitability of setbacks when attempting difficult things explains why many people give up on their goals: they’re not prepared for the mistakes and failures they’ll face on their way to what they want. What’s missing in many people’s beliefs about success is the fact that the more challenging the goal, the more frequent and difficult setbacks will be. The larger your ambitions, the more dependent you will be on your ability to overcome and learn from your mistakes.
But for many reasons admitting mistakes is difficult. An implied value in many cultures is that our work represents us: if you fail a test, then you are a failure. If you make a mistake then you are a mistake (You may never have felt this way, but many people do. It explains the behavior of some of your high school or college friends). Like eggs, steak and other tasty things we are given letter grades (A, B, C,, D and F) organizing us for someone else’s consumption: universities and employers evaluate young candidates on their grades, numbers based on scores from tests unforgiving to mistakes.
For anyone than never discovers a deeper self-identity, based not on lack of mistakes but on courage, compassionate intelligence, commitment and creativity, life is a scary place made safe only by never getting into trouble, never breaking rules and never taking the risks that their hearts tell them they need to take.
Learning from mistakes checklist:-
- Accepting responsibility makes learning possible.
- Don’t equate making mistakes with being a mistake.
- You can’t change mistakes, but you can choose how to respond to them.
- Growth starts when you can see room for improvement.
- Work to understand why it happened and what the factors were.
- What information could have avoided the mistake?
- What small mistakes, in sequence, contributed to the bigger mistake?
- Are there alternatives you should have considered but did not?
- What kinds of changes are required to avoid making this mistake again? What kinds of change are difficult for you?
- How do you think your behavior should/would change in you were in a similar situation again?
- Work to understand the mistake until you can make fun of it (or not want to kill others that make fun).
- Don’t over-compensate: the next situation won’t be the same as the last.