October 4, 2012 08:30
The Good: Mistakes can be a learning experience
The Bad: Some mistakes can impact work performance or relationships
The Ugly: Some mistakes cannot be taken back or fixed once they have been said or done
If we’re being honest with ourselves we probably make mistakes on a daily basis. Whether these mistakes occur in our personal or professional lives they usually have an impact on us. Everyone makes mistakes, but the important part of making mistakes is learning from them. You may not always be able to change or fix what happened, but there’s usually a lesson to be learned.
Some mistakes, like imputing the wrong numbers into a presentation can be fixed. Others, like getting into an argument with a significant other and saying things you later regret or making mistakes during an interview can’t exactly be taken back or fixed. For mistakes like these you have to recognize what you did wrong, learn what you can do different next time and move on the best you can.
Once you realize a mistake has been made, try to reflect back on what factors may have caused you to make those mistakes. Were you rushing to get everything done? Were you unprepared? Did you have a particularly stressful day? Were people distracting you? Were you tired? Did others upset you and therefore you mistakenly took it out on someone else? There are a million reasons that factor into why something didn’t go as planned – the key is figuring out those reasons so you can prevent the same mistake from happening again.
Looking back can help you realize what happened and possibly prevent the same mistake from happening again. When putting together presentations go into a quiet conference room, complete it and double check it at your desk. When you have an interview for your dream job prepare by researching the company and answering practice interview questions with a friend.
In the end, mistakes are going to happen. Things won’t always go as planned, but if we look at everything as a learning experience we can enrich our lives and constantly work to make ourselves better.