It is easy to say “learn from your mistakes”, yet it is a whole different story to actually do it. Learning from our mistakes isn’t always as straightforward as it sounds. Especially when we don’t recognize the mistake, or multiple factors led to a certain outcome. Had we known all the details, we might not have made the mistake in the first place. Being a “work in progress” and learning from our mistakes is an analytical process of carefully identifying what really happened, and the action steps we need to take to guarantee a better outcome.
Success isn’t About Avoiding Mistake
Nobody is perfect, especially not the most successful people in the world! Avoiding mistakes is impossible, the most famous businessmen, athletes, and politicians make them, and sometimes those mistakes are major blunders on the public stage. Only “the Best” however learn from their mistakes and become better for it. Those that fail have not learned the lesson and either continue to make mistakes or quit. It is important to recognize that being successful isn’t all smooth sailing. It’s a messy process of wins, losses and persistence. Being successful is all about the ability to reflect, admit, and be courageous enough to do things differently than before.
Take Time To Think
Learning from our mistakes takes time. After evaluating what went wrong and why, it is important to think about the lesson. Was the learning that you were rushed and you need to take more time to prepare, or maybe the lesson was about who you can trust to collaborate. Whatever the lesson might be, everything happens for a reason. Learn to look for that reason, find the learning, and keep it in mind. Which brings us to my last point.
Learning To Be Mindful
When you are working, or simply cruising through life, stay mindful of the lessons that you learn. It doesn’t have to be the only thing that you are thinking about but keep your lesson readily available in the back of your thoughts. Maybe you need to give yourself more time to finish projects. If that is the case, expend more energy focusing on how you can give yourself just that so you aren’t rushing to finish. Being mindful at work and in life is a skill that will help you be happier and more successful throughout!
Learning from your mistakes isn’t something that you’ll instantly pick up on with no effort. It takes practice, and you most likely aren’t going to get it right the first time. But what you want to do is take responsibility and always evaluate your part in what happened. Don’t ever let things be just other people’s mistakes, this will not further your growth. If you can figure out your contributing factors that led to the undesired outcome, then you can figure out how to succeed in the future. Being mindful of the changes you need to make in life, at work and in your relationships will keep you on course to overall success!
* Ladder to Sky image credit goes to: Samuel Zeller.
* Mindfulness image credit goes to: Lesly Juarez.