Nobody is perfect – we make mistakes all the time and it's totally what makes us human. We don't live in a perfect world, and that imperfection is what makes life so dynamic.
A mistake is usually seen as a negative thing, but you can always choose to see it in a positive light. Besides, we make mistakes all the time, so we might as well get something good out of it, right?
Sometimes even a tiny mistake can lead to huge financial loss, especially for all you coders out there. And you should feel bad when you make a mistake, and not just say, "Well, it happened, so that's the way it is."
But instead of just feeling bad when you make a mistake, you can do a few things to make sure that it's a successful mistake.
Learn From It
The golden rule when you make a mistake is that you gotta learn from it.
I'm pretty sure you've all heard this (and are thinking "Thanks Mr. Obvious"). But has everyone who's heard of this concept actually applied it?
There are a lot of quotes and sayings warning you not to make the same mistake twice. In reality, we are not immune to it – people can make the same mistakes over and over again. Learning from a mistake doesn't guarantee that you won't make the same mistake again.
There are a lot of things you can learn from your mistake: How did it happen? What did it affect? How critical was it?
The lessons are never ending.
But the most important thing is that you try to understand the mistake fully. At the very least the chance of it happening again will drop significantly. And you might stumble across situations where you can avoid making a similar mistake.
Give Solutions Instead of Excuses
Whenever something happens because of a mistake, the first thing most people do is give excuses. There might even be some immature responses and finger pointing, and often the most important thing is forgotten: solving the problem.
Instead of coming up with excuses, finding a solution should be your top priority. Of course there might be a totally legitimate reason why a mistake was made, but that can wait until after you find the right solution.
Use your time effectively – no one wants to waste time while the alarms are going off. When things settle down you can explain what happened carefully and analytically.
It's Okay Not to Know, but It's Not Okay to Be Willfully Ignorant
Often times we make mistakes because we just don't know something. But are those kinds of mistakes okay?
It's normal for people to make mistakes when stepping into unknown territory. But the real question you need to ask is if the person doesn't know, or is not trying to know, because those are totally different.
Sometimes in life we take shortcuts, and find the easy way to do something. There is nothing wrong with that.
But what people often forget is that shortcuts might be misleading, and yes, might is the strong word here. People tend to ignore the possibility that something can go wrong and don't think much about the consequences.
When someone says "I don't know," this often translates into "I don't bother to know." People tend to find the easy way to do something and continue to be ignorant about what it is they're doing. They don't bother to look deeper because everything seems okay.
When you unknowingly cause a mistake because you truly don't know something, that's fine. But when you cause a mistake due to willful ignorance, that's not okay. Because no matter how many times you make the same mistake, you'll never learn from it.
Don't Forget To Share Your Mistake
Often when we make a mistake, we just try to fix it and move on from there. We forget that it's very important to share our mistakes.
We might be embarrassed at the prospect of looking silly. But fortunately, the benefits far outweigh that.
First and foremost, it will help other people avoid making the same mistakes you did. And deep down they will be really thankful for that.
Not only that, sharing your mistakes might give you a new and different insight on what other people might think about it. They can give you a new perspective or maybe a better solution for handling it.
Don't forget to share your mistakes, because sharing is caring.
Own the Consequences
Remember that every mistake comes with consequences. They can take the form of financial losses, or even affect your credibility.
The consequences need to be clearly defined and understood, because understanding the consequences will become a deterrent when approaching any situation. It will also help you better consider how you'll solve problems.
Sometimes, the consequences might stay with you for a long time. And you have to bear with it and take ownership of the consequences since it's your responsibility.
But no matter how great the consequences are, don't be too hard on yourself. Maintaining a good spirit and positivity is the key to dealing with consequences.
Making a mistake is not the end of everything. Life goes on and everything keeps moving. Some things get left behind and new things arise.
The best thing you can do with any mistake is learn from it as best you can and make it a successful mistake.
Life is too long a journey for you to get hung up on one mistake. Keep going and enjoy the ride.
Thanks for reading – I truly hope that this article was useful for you!