It’s human nature to want life to be free of mishaps and mistakes, but humans are a work in progress. People, by their very nature, make mistakes. Successful people, however, learn from their mistakes. Here are three steps to help you be better after you make a mistake:
1. Take time to reflect on the mistake the next day.
Mistakes without learning from them are lost opportunities. No one wants a person to make mistakes, but no one wants a person not to learn from their mistakes either.
It is natural to brood over the incident the day it occurs. The next day, however, take time to reflect on what happened. You need time to detach yourself slightly from the immediacy of the incident. However, don’t wait too long to come back to the incident. The longer you wait, the more likely you are to forget details that could help you move forward. Try to reflect about 48 hours after the accident to balance closeness to the incident while trying to be objective about what happened and what you can do better in the future.
2. Note the error.
It is not enough to think about what happened. Note the situation. When you force yourself to put pen to paper or type out the situation, you will find that you will think more methodically and chronologically about the incident.
When people write down their thoughts, they tend to be more in depth in their thinking because they want to be sure to get the big picture. Although thoughts may jump and get out of order, writing down the incident will make you think about the situation from beginning to end.
The clearer the picture you can write, the clearer the solution can be. Namely, the more you understand what happened, the better you will know what steps to take next and learn from the situation.
3. Share your mistake with someone else.
To further encourage you to learn from your mistakes and take action, consider sharing your thoughts with another person. You can write about the error in an email to a family member or in a blog post to your support group. You can share it with a close friend or colleague in person or over the phone.
If you need a boost of motivation to learn from your mistakes, don’t keep the mistakes to yourself. You don’t have to share the details. The point of sharing your situation with others is to get a little support and empowerment, if needed, to motivate you to improve.
Opening up about your mistake can seem scary. But being vulnerable can be liberating and cathartic.
Mistakes sting. You want things to go well, whether at work or in your personal life. Shortly after making the mistake, reflect on the situation. Write down what happened for clarity. Next, consider confiding in someone about the mistake. Invest to improve yourself.
What helps you learn from your mistakes and improve? Share your stories and thoughts with me via Twitter Where LinkedIn.