No-one who has ever lived has gone through life without making a mistake. From the moment we're born and we try to look at our mother and miss to the time we're ancient and we're forgetting where the kitchen is, life is full of human errors. People who lead the way in their area are just as prone to error as you or I, and when we are not given set out instructions because we're doing something unique or new, mistakes are bound to happen. So what is the secret to making successful mistakes? How can we best use the experience to our benefit? Once we can change a mistake into an education we can not only help ourselves but those who care to listen to what we have to say.
Here is a four step process that makes sense and is well worth applying to all moments of flawed thinking.
The first step in changing a problem is accepting there is one. The old cliché rings true in this situation. It's not always easy to accept that the ideas we have invested time, energy, and maybe even money in are not as valuable as once thought. Perhaps the most difficult wall to climb is the emotional attachment to our ideas. We can be so consumed by a thing that to let go of it would leave us feeling totally different. It's something that can be done over time if not immediately.
Knowing we made a mistake, or are continuing to make one, is the first step. The next one is to address it head on. We may well have to learn from someone else in order to get to the bottom of our problem. Try searching your issue online and seeing what other people are saying, or asking someone who has already gone through what you are going through. If it's not so simple then try thinking outside of the box. What is it you want to achieve? Perhaps look at the whole situation from another angle.
Don't Keep It To Yourself
No-one likes to feel that the people around them are secretly watching them fail. If they truly are an expert in the thing you are doing and they know you're making a mistake, you'd want them to tell you, right? Now it's your turn. Tell people about your mistake and what you did to remedy it, put it in a blog or in a video. If you work for someone, tell your boss. The work you've just done in solving a problem is valuable and you can make sure it is available for others to learn from.
Don't be the person who made a mistake and is now making a career out of it. That's the sort of thing reserved for criminals. No, we are better than that. Just move along and quietly put the whole thing behind you. There will always be an opportunity to recall your wisdom when the time comes, and always be able to appropriately administer your knowledge when needed but always have your sights on the next step and yes, the next big mistake that ultimately throws you into orbit (presumably that's where you want to be).
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Rowan Blair Colver for Alternative Fruit
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