I bet you have made a mistake before. I have. We all have. The hardest part about making a mistake is forgiving ourselves enough to learn from the mistake and move forward. See if you relate to any of these mistakes. Please note that I am not talking about major, life threatening, earth shaking, career changing errors, just everyday mistakes.
The Stupidity Mistake
This is the type of mistake that makes people wonder if you are actually capable of doing what you say you can do and it is usually a result of little or no preparation. A person cannot prepare for everything. You have to accept that you will be in a situation one day, where you will need to do something for the first time and it is going to work perfect or not.
If it does not work out and you had put in an honest effort then don’t worry too much, it is going to be OK. Don’t waste your time with a thousand apologies. Apologize once and move on. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Everyone misspeaks on occasion, we have our own opinions, we have our own core competencies, and you are not expected to meet everyone else’s expectations. If this is something you will need to address again then study up so you won’t repeat your actions.
The Time-wasting Mistake
This is the mistake that adds hours to your day trying to rectify the situation. Don’t spend your time angry about the extra work. It has happened, so accept it, do the work, and move on. Being in a negative space has not value and may actually add to the mistakes and cost you more time.
The Hurtful Mistake
This is the mistake that not only affected you and your day, but someone else’s as well and they have been emotionally affected to boot. If your mistake has hurt someone else, then make it right as soon as possible. It is difficult enough to start a business on your own; you do not want to alienate your personal support by minimizing a statement or action that you have made.
To Move Forward
If you have not spent time evaluating what went wrong then you are set to repeat your mistakes. If you thought you felt bad the first time around, how do you think you will feel when people start thinking you don’t care enough to make it work the next time.
This past weekend I made a variety of small errors that commentated in a failure that encompassed all three mistakes. The combination of not preparing and assumptions cost my family 4.5 hours of destination-less driving, an apology that made me sound like I did not know how to use my contact management software nor Google, and my friend’s daughter in tears.
My husband and I spent time evaluating all the small things we missed that added to the confusion, made our sincere apologies, and re-booked our visit for January with the promise of an added bottle of wine (for the parents, not the daughter).
Forgive yourself – accept your mistake – find out what went wrong and work hard to not repeat your past. This way you can only become better at what you do and you can only become more successful with this type of thoughtful expertise.