Mistakes have a negative image. So we hide them, play the blame game, or beat ourselves up when they occur. In fact, these actions compound our mistakes by creating stress and anxiety, damaging relationships, squandering time and money, and most importantly, often causing us to repeat the same mishap over and over again. The truth is, mistakes aren’t inherently bad –– what counts is how we view and react to them. How do you react to mistakes? Do these actions sound familiar?
9 Ways People React to Mistakes
Avoidance. Trying to avoid mistakes at any cost can be very costly. As Albert Einstein said, “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”
Repetition. When you run into a wall, don’t dust yourself off and run into it again. Learn.
Inattention. Learn from other people’s mistakes rather than reinventing the wheel –– and making every mistake yourself.
Suppression. Sweeping mistakes under a rug never makes them really disappear.
Procrastination. Left unattended, small mistakes grow into big ones.
Judgment. Mistakes don’t make you a failure, but beating yourself up makes you feel like one.
Dishonesty. It’s one thing to make a mistake and quite another to commit one intentionally by being deceitful.
Denial. No one wins the blame game. Pointing fingers prohibits learning or progress from taking place. It’s time to face the music.
Trapped. Dwelling in the past won’t help you today.
When mistakes are made, our actions shift from doing the right thing to covering our behinds; to pointing fingers rather than accepting personal responsibility; hiding errors rather than fixing them; allowing wasteful projects to linger rather than shutting them down; and letting small problems become big ones because they’re inadequately addressed. The result is that learning is brought to a complete standstill –– making it more than likely the same mistake will be repeated. It shouldn’t be that way.
The time has come to view every mistake as an opportunity rather than a weakness. This change in outlook will stimulate personal growth, strengthen relationships, and enhance efficiency and effectiveness. The truth is that there shouldn’t be shame in making a mistake. The disgrace should be in failing to admit, correct, and learn from it. Make no mistake about it!
How Do You React to Mistakes?
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