Transitions Kuel Thought Leader: Nancy Tepper
Let’s face it. We all make mistakes.
It’s part of being human and while mistakes can take a toll, they also give us the opportunity to learn and find inner growth and happiness. As we mature, our goal for personal development is to deeply learn about ourselves and to develop a strong moral and ethical compass to guide us through our decision-making.
“By learning from our mistakes and finding the positives in each situation, we can learn valuable lessons and see them as opportunities for improvement.”
By learning from our mistakes and finding the positives in each situation, we can learn valuable lessons and see them as opportunities for improvement. A negative perspective and attitude can make you a victim of circumstance. Instead of achieving growth, you beat yourself up and repeat the same behaviors over and over.
1. Don’t Lose The Learning:
The best lessons we are taught in life come from challenging situations that result in inner turmoil. If you choose to look at a difficult situation with negativity and self-blame, you are not usually able to grow from the experience.
You feel burdened, unhappy, and empty. When you make a mistake, you need to keep in mind that one error does not define who you are as a person. The sooner you realize that you are part of the problem, the sooner you can get yourself back on track. The more you make excuses for yourself, the more you prolong the problem. Don’t seek the easy out. Take responsibility instead.
An example of this is when you take on extra work in an office setting but end up performing poorly because of poor time management. You will continue to deliver inferior work in the future unless you learn that your past failure was a result of your own mistake of not budgeting enough hours to do a good job.
2. Look For The Positive:
How many of us have been in a situation where a friend or colleague maligns a common friend and you allow an uncomfortable conversation to go on even though it’s gossipy and unkind. If you are like most people, you feel bad after an interaction like this and regret participating. You will likely go home and replay the conversation over and over in your mind and worry if you had said any unkind words. You feel depleted and likely disappointed with yourself.
“Ultimately, you will find happiness from this learning as you navigate through life.”
To find the positive side of any mistake, you MUST learn to shift your mindset to inward reflection. By remembering how you feel when you say damaging words, the next time a situation like this presents itself, it becomes unlikely that you might repeat the same mistake. Ultimately, you will find happiness from this learning as you navigate through life.
Realizing you are at fault, but also understanding that learning will prove beneficial in the long run, is the first step to figuring out how to change our ways. In the example above, the now-internalized learning will make you stop a negative conversation before it even starts. You have learned that you are uncomfortable when you malign others.
3. You Are Always Wiser Today Than You Were Ever In The Past:
Find the fix for your mistake and give it a try. Most problems have a solution, so take the time and think about what you can do to improve the situation. Think back to other mistakes you have made and how you have recovered from them.
You may be lucky enough to realize that the situation isn’t as bad as you originally thought. When you make a mistake, admit it, learn from it, correct it, and apologize to those that were adversely affected. Then look inward and learn what NOT to do again. This will reduce anxiety and stress levels and will make you look stronger when you admit your responsibility. “The only real mistake is the one from which you learn nothing.”
“Sometimes you can’t see the learning as a possibility when you are caught up in the stress and anxiety from a situation.”
Think back to times when you have had an angry and emotional reaction. Let’s say I am late to an important meeting and I blame my taxi driver because there is traffic. The real mistake is that I didn’t give myself enough time, not that the driver picked a bad route. My learning from this mistake is to always leave earlier.
4. Talk To Someone!
When you make a big mistake and you are having trouble coping, reach out for help. Sometimes you can’t see the learning as a possibility when you are caught up in the stress and anxiety from a situation.
Often, you need someone to shed some light on things to make you feel better and understand how to move forward. For example, if you are in the process of getting a divorce and you are making decisions that are driven by hatred, you can’t see the error of your own ways.
The mistake of doing this is you can’t move forward and learn from the situation. In this case, a professional such as a coach can help you navigate to help you recognize your own mistakes so the patterns can be discontinued in the future.
5. Learn To Let Go, But If You Can’t, Look Deeper:
If you have tried making these positive changes, and you are having trouble moving on and accepting your mistakes, it may be time to realize that something else is going on at a deeper level.
When you can look at mistakes as opportunities to pick up extra knowledge and improve along the way, you end up in a better place. If you’re unable to, you may need to work on developing more resilience and coping skills. Everybody makes mistakes. The choice of how to move forward is yours.
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