Are Mistakes Always Bad?
Some people will say all mistakes are bad and some people will say if they are mistakes they aren’t bad. The truth, I believe, comes somewhere in the middle.
If you make a mistake that causes someone pain that, in anyone’s book is a bad mistake. If, on the other hand, you make a mistake like the ones mentioned in the free lesson about making mistakes, I don’t think anyone would call that a bad mistake.
There are 5 sections to this lesson so it is, most likely, going to be quite long and will, in my opinion, take the weeks time allowed to digest and consider.
Give Yourself Permission to Make Mistakes
Are you a perfectionist? You need to make sure everything is just right before you are willing to say it’s done. If you have to, you’ll do everything yourself to ensure it’s done right. If this describes you, it may be time to lighten up and let yourself make more mistakes.
For one thing, you are likely alienating your team members when you take on their responsibilities. No one is perfect, and you shouldn’t expect them to be. Besides, if you take on your team’s work, you’ll be doing nothing but working all the time. Your team won’t grow because they can’t live up to your unobtainable standards. They will end up leaving because they’ll feel like they can’t do anything right for you.
When you put less pressure on yourself to make mistakes, you may find that you are making less of them. That kind of pressure to be perfect is taxing on your mentality. You have enough pressure without putting an unnecessary amount on yourself.
Your team will be happier as they will be able to get their jobs done. That’s what you hired them for so let them work. They too will make mistakes. You need to give them permission to do so, as well as yourself. The byproduct of you letting them make mistakes and not having everything be perfect is that you will not have to work as many hours.
Just because you are allowing a bit of imperfection into the process, doesn’t mean you have to settle for inferior work. You still need to require your team does a great job, but you will find strength in numbers. When done right, your team will become a well-oiled machine. When mistakes are made, the group can discuss what happened and how to try to avoid them in the future. But don’t be too hard on people about those mistakes. Acknowledge them and then figure out the best way to move forward. Your team members will respect you more when you approach mistakes in this way.
The fast-paced business environment actually has no room for perfectionists. Work needs to get done and trying to make sure everything is perfect will give the advantage to your competitors. They will get more products released quicker and will leave you wondering how that happened. It’s a race that perfectionism will cause your company to lose. Mistakes also can lead to opportunities that you would not have seen without making those mistakes.
Own Up to Your Mistakes
One of the worst things people can do when making mistakes is to blame others for them. Or, they try to cover them up. If you have done this in the past, ask yourself this. Did you think the people you blamed would not notice? Be prepared for them to defend themselves and you will have shattered their trust completely.
Sometimes, in a state of panic, people blame others. It’s a knee-jerk reaction. If that happens, make sure you immediately come forward and state you were wrong and that you are the one responsible for the mistake. This is not ideal, as you should not have blamed them in the first place. But, it can happen. Just be willing to make it right.
The better approach is to take ownership of your mistakes right from the start. Try to refrain from saying anything when the mistake happens. Think about what happened and then you can come forward and claim responsibility.
People will respect you more when you take responsibility and will be less likely to judge you too harshly. Everyone makes mistakes, and as long as you are forthcoming, the damage should be minimal. Be prepared to take actions that can help right the situation.
Some people will use it to try to put you down for your mistakes. That’s just the way they are. As long as you have owned up to them, they will end up looking like the petty person. Try not to be too combative with people like this. The situation usually goes away over time.
There are also people who won’t forgive you for mistakes that you make, no matter how much you do to try to make it right. The burden is really upon them, at that point. There isn’t much you can do to change this situation. Sometimes, the results can be unpleasant, such as having to look for another job. It may not be the best situation, but it’s not the end of the world, either.
Owning up to your mistakes is about having integrity. In the long run, no one can truly fault you for that, and it shows people you are the bigger person. It also leads others to do the same as you have set the example for them.
You will feel better knowing that you took responsibility for your actions. When you blame others, you will find it does not sit well with you. You will be thinking about it constantly and may even have nightmares. It’s simply not worth any of that.
If you don’t own up to your mistakes you will not gain anything from it and you will certainly not be able to help others from making the same mistake. Realizing my mistakes and having a desire to help others be successful without making those mistakes is what birthed this site. Had I not admitted I made some mistakes I would not be here trying to help you today.
Helping Others Bounce Back From The Mistakes You Made or Helping Others Not Make Those Same Mistakes
You have made some mistakes in your life, right? It happens, and there is nothing you can do to change the fact that you made them. You can try to take steps to make up for them. But, they are there to stay. Here’s an idea. Why not use your mistakes as a way to help others who have experienced the same ones?
The first thing you could do is ask if they want to talk about it? When they find out that someone else made the mistake, this can lighten the situation. They will see they aren’t the only ones. It can turn the situation from heavy embarrassment to being able to laugh about it, as long as it’s not too serious a mistake.
Listening can help, even if the mistake is serious. You may even be able to advise about what to do to fix the situation or at least, how to keep from doing it again. Not every mistake is fixable, but you may be able to point the person in the right direction on things that can be done. For instance, if you had to use a lawyer to help with your mistake, you could suggest they use the same lawyer.
If the mistakes are such that some people aren’t sure what to do, you can help them find support groups. This would be especially helpful if you are a member of those support groups. An example would be helping someone through addiction. Perhaps they lost their license or had legal troubles because of it. You could offer to attend a meeting with them. If you have been going through the meetings on a regular basis, you probably have made friends, and the person you are helping won’t seem as out of place when starting out.
If people who are making mistakes are not willing to admit to them, there isn’t going to be much you can do to help them. They need to recognize that something is not right and that they have to make changes. To keep with the addiction example, if they don’t admit that they even have a problem, you won’t be able to do or say anything to convince them otherwise. Every person has to come to terms with mistakes such as these. It is hoped that they finally get around to admitting it before something truly terrible happens.
Knowledge Reduces The Possibility Of Mistakes
People make mistakes all the time. You can probably rattle off several of them you’ve made just as others can. If you want to recover from your mistakes, you first need to identify that you made them. Once you do this, you want to learn how to do everything possible to avoid doing them again. This takes knowledge.
Some situations are going to require you to learn via trial-and-error. This means you have no choice but to make mistakes. However, there are many situations that can be learned before experiencing. Some people choose to circumvent the learning process which makes it highly likely they will make mistakes. Either they don’t want to take the time to learn or they don’t want to pay for it. The sad part is they will end up spending more time and money by not learning to do things before they take the plunge.
There’s less excuse not to train yourself now than ever before. The internet offers blogs such as our Senior Income Blog and websites like this one, with a wealth of quality information that you can find for low cost and sometimes even free. You won’t have to travel, and you can learn at your own pace. Of course, this is not the best way for some people to learn. They need formal instruction with a qualified teacher.
Still, even if you want to sign up for formal instruction, it’s not a bad idea to find some preliminary training to get a leg up. Just do a search with your favorite search engine for the subject you are trying to learn. You may have to spend some time to find free resources, although you can probably find some good information on YouTube.
If you make a mistake because of a lack of knowledge, and you want to avoid making the same mistakes, seek out others who may have overcome based on training or experience. You can ask them how they learned the right way and take it from there. This can even be the basis for becoming friends as you’ll have some common experiences.
If you are making mistakes due to not having experience or knowledge it is imperative that you get training, like you are getting here, in order to be successful. Or should I say in order to be successful without making all the costly mistakes I made?
Refuse To Live with Regrets
This is probably the most important section of this lesson. Unless you refuse to live in the past, dwelling on your mistakes you are going to be stuck or at best move forward at a very slow pace. Once you realize you are going to make mistakes you need to own up to them when you make them, help others to avoid them, get the knowledge to limit mistakes in the future and then move on. Helping others is a big part of moving on because there is a certain amount of “therapy” that happens to you when you help others.
Everyone is going to have some regrets. You may have made a mistake with your career, or you passed on “the one who got away.” Whatever it may be, there is nothing that can be done about those regrets. So move on.
Many people get stuck in the past, and it can cripple them from living a quality life. They continue to bring up events that have happened, and some even use it as an excuse to feel sorry for themselves. When this happens, they will not progress in their lives. It can get so bad they even start to take on negative behaviors such as heavy alcohol use or drugs. Once this happens, it can be difficult to break this habit.
If someone close to you passes on and you have regrets about your life together, realize they would want you to move on. They aren’t coming back. Instead of thinking about those regrets, think about the good times you shared. It is an excellent idea, in a case like this, to recall what you may have learned from that person. I was an only child and my Dad and I were close so when he passed away it was extremely difficult for me to “suck it up and move on”. What got me through it, besides my relationship with Jesus, was when I started thinking about the things I learned from him and then apply those things to help others. Focusing on my regrets about the opportunities I missed with him would have kept me from ever being happy again.
It is okay to reflect on regrets and determine what you did wrong. This can help you not to repeat what you have done. The key is not to make the regrets the central part of your life. Don’t let them define you. Recognize the wrongs and apologize for them, even if to yourself. Then, chart out a course that puts you on the path to happiness.
A lot of people teach using affirmations to help get over your regrets and that is a wonderful idea. My only concern is where you get the affirmations.
The last thing I want to mention is something personal I still have to walk through myself so bear with me just a few more minutes.
My oldest daughter died of cancer while I was on the mission field in Italy. My wife and I flew back to the US because she wanted me to officiate at her funeral. Can I tell you God does not design us to bury our children and preaching the message at her funeral was the hardest thing I had ever done? That kind of hurt never goes away completely it just gets less as time goes by. I still think about things I should have done with her, things I should have been there for her for and, mistakes I made during her life. However, I do not dwell on those things, I choose to dwell on the good times we had and sooner or later those regrets slip back to the backside of my brain, at least for a while.
Next week’s lesson will help you focus on “Changing Your Mindset From Employee To Entrepreneur”