The 3 secrets to turning any mistakes around

What happens when we come from a place of hating mistakes: They’re uncomfortable and disappointing, they feel like we’ve failed and we can’t come back from it. We hate it because much of the time we’re working really hard towards something, we’re chugging along, moving forward and then we hit a dead end, pushed to the ground, and thrown out. It’s with this dichotomy when we’re jolted from this shiny and exciting place to a dark and ugly one.

What happens when we come from a place of embracing mistakes: We’ve accepted that this road is a challenging one and that there will be bumps along the way. We adhere to mistakes as information and signs to point us in the right direction. Rather than see them as defining and limiting, we see them as opportunities to learn more about the task at hand and ourselves.

The worlds of hating mistakes and embracing mistakes are vastly different. When one seems more encouraging and productive, why does the other prevail? Here are a few reasons:

  • Perfectionism tendencies
  • Family history and expectations
  • Precedents set at the workplace
  • Fear of failure

When disliking mistakes and all that comes with it perpetuates this idea that we shouldn’t make mistakes, we’re not doing ourselves any favors. Because the reality is, we will make mistakes (and then we’ll make some more!). So, how can we get used to the idea and get to this point of welcoming them?

    1. Look to your past: Reflecting on our past experiences and yes, our past mistakes, can map out our actions taken post-mistake. In other words, what did we do after we made that mistake? How did we recover or rebuild? Where might we have pivoted to?
    2. Guilt vs. shame response: Reframe a mistake you’ve made as something you did rather than it representing something about you.
    3. Give yourself room: Often, when we make a mistake we’re so focused on patching it up that we forget to take a step back and give ourselves space to learn from it. Given more room, we can offer ourselves grace and create an opportunity that we wouldn’t have otherwise.

Think about a mistake you’ve made recently. What did you tell yourself? Was it hate or embrace? Think about that mistake again with one of the three approaches above.

Stay Well,
Catherine at Revive

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