“Learning from your mistakes does not happen automatically, it requires thinking and reflection.” ― Oscar Auliq-Ice
Everyone makes mistakes and no one is immune of mistakes. If we make mistakes apologise or even don’t apologise and continue as before, then the risk of repeating or making similar or worse mistakes or errors becomes very high.
Learning from mistakes means that we recognise what we did wrong and commit to take action not to do it again. This calls for us to re-examine the mistake understand the circumstances under which it occurred, think creatively about some solutions or alternatives. This is why Roy H. Williams avers that – “A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again.”
Here are five ways to put what you learn from mistakes into practice
- Begin by owning up the mistake. This requires you to recognise and admit the mistake and take responsibility for it. Owning up and taking responsibility means that you apologise and propose some actions to clean up. Never, ever hide the error or mistake or transfer the blame to others or to situations. When you open up to your mistake, it clears your mind to understand it in detail.
- Understand the nature of the mistake. The way you perceive a mistake shapes the way you respond to it. It is advisable that you look at the mistake fairly and objectively and reconstruct the mistake positively to identify the opportunities within it to enable you achieve your bigger goal. Ask yourself: what went wrong, how did it get wrong, at what point did it get wrong and why did it get wrong. Pay attention to how you can learn, gain and benefit from the situation in the broader context. Consult your peers, supervisor, friends or coach to get the deeper insights into the matter at hand.
- Develop a plan to address the mistake. You need to consider the bigger view of your goals and consider how addressing the mistake will enable you reach the goals by drawing a plan that: a) provides a systematic way to address the mistake, b) looks at the indicators, steps, support and resources required and c) provides inbuilt track mechanisms to keep you accountable.
- Implement the plan. The information and actions picked from (1) – (3) may remain un attended to if not implemented. To commit and remain focused on addressing the issue requires a strong and intense why must you address this mistake. With a strong and clear why, you are able to consistently take action despite how challenging the obstacles you may be facing are. The anticipated good will enable you to override the small hills and valleys purposefully to make it possible to reach your destination. Remember to celebrate every milestone you achieve towards addressing the mistake.
- Continually and consistently review the progress. Implementation involves applying various tactics and calls for you to periodically monitor the extent to which you are on track with your goals. You have the power to change the strategy and tactics to achieve your goal but not the goal. If you change the goal, you are likely to shift from addressing mistake.
In summary, remember to begin by owning the mistake, understand the nature of the mistake, develop the plan to address the mistake, implement the plan; and continually and consistently review progress. Be inspired by a strong and intense why.
The writer is the Co-Founder Retirement Life Hub