How many times have you made a mistake and thought if only I could go back in time and do it differently? But the more you think about this, the more you realize that mistakes are unavoidable in life—they’re just part of being human! Although there’s no way to completely eliminate your mistakes, there are some ways to minimize them, which will in turn help you improve your life and the lives of those around you. Here are ten of the biggest common mistakes we can all learn from.
1.Have an open mind to failure
A lot of us think that failure is a bad thing, but it’s actually an important step in learning. After all, how do we know if something is a success unless we can measure its failures? Failure isn’t as bad as it seems—the only thing to really be afraid of is not making an effort. If you try something and fail, at least you learn what doesn’t work. And if you try again and succeed, well…you probably won’t remember your first mistake anyway! So don’t worry about failing—worry about NOT trying.
2.The importance of feedback
Give and receive constructive feedback when you make a mistake to prevent it from happening again. Next time you notice your colleague is struggling with something, ask them how they’re doing and if there’s anything you can do to help. And if you find yourself in a similar situation, reach out for guidance first instead of trying to figure it out on your own. By being proactive about getting feedback on what we did wrong, we can work together to help each other become better and achieve our goals at work and in life.
3.Don’t be afraid to share your mistakes
Perhaps more than anything else, admitting you made a mistake is one of the best ways to learn. By talking about your mistakes and what you learned from them, you’re giving others permission to do so as well. It also serves as a reminder that everyone makes mistakes — including you. While feeling badly may be natural after an error, resist dwelling on it; instead, resolve to improve and let it go.
4.Own up to your mistakes
Owning up to your mistakes is a crucial part of learning from them. It might be tempting to pretend they didn’t happen or pass blame on to others, but neither of these will help you move forward in a healthy way. Take ownership of your failures and work diligently to fix them—or at least learn from them so that you’re better prepared for next time. If there are any negative consequences stemming from your mistake, apologize and do what you can to alleviate that. The key is remaining genuine, open and honest about your shortcomings; no one will be impressed by an attempt at spin doctoring (even if it does work). If all else fails, just laugh off your mistake as best you can.
It’s important to remember that making mistakes is part of life and that it’s important to learn from them. The act of attempting something, even if you don’t succeed, helps you grow as a person. Even Thomas Edison had a quote about it: I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
6.Look at what went wrong, but don’t get stuck there
After an employee screws up, managers have to decide how to handle it. Too often, bosses make a human being’s greatest mistake his defining moment. Whether they fire him or treat him like a second-class citizen, they put all their attention on his misstep and rarely give thought to what he did right. It’s easy to think of one employee as always doing everything wrong—but in reality, we all make mistakes. That doesn’t mean we don’t try hard when we do our jobs; it means that even when we do something poorly or incorrectly, we still learn from our errors and eventually get better at whatever task is at hand.
7.Keep on learning
It’s OK to make mistakes. In fact, they can often be a catalyst for growth and change. But if you don’t learn from your mistakes—if you don’t analyze them—then you’re bound to repeat them. So as soon as you realize what happened, stop and ask yourself: What could I have done differently? How can I avoid making similar mistakes in the future? Keep learning and growing through failure. You may find it helps bolster your success going forward.