One mistake we can make in our daily walk, will be not to ask what mistakes we are making or prone to making. A leader wrote: ‘I gave little thought to what might go wrong. I assumed that the ‘right way’ would be mistake-free. I did not acknowledge mistakes I made to myself, or others. I was not learning from my mistakes. If I wanted to become a better leader, I would have to stop making the mistake of not asking what mistake I was making.’ It’s not the number of mistakes we make that counts but how often we keep making the same mistake.
If you will turn your mistakes to your advantage consider the following thoughts:
- Admit your mistakes. Why don’t we? May be partly because of pride largely of an image we protect or simply insecurity which is our self-worth based on performance and may be stubbornness because we will rather flog a dead horse than bury it to get a new one. Here is the news flash: ‘People already know about our mistakes’. When we admit them they are not surprised, as a matter of fact they are somehow relieved because they are assured that you are not pretending!’
- Accept your mistakes as the price of progress. Learn to view failure as a healthy, inevitable part of succeeding. Nothing is perfect in life including you! So get used to it before you overburden yourself with unnecessary expectations that won’t be met each time.
- Make sure you learn from your mistakes. Whenever you try to avoid failure at all costs, you will never learn as you end up repeating the same mistakes over. Those who are willing to learn from their failures don’t have to keep repeating them.
William Saroyan observed, ‘We get very little wisdom from success. We can learn from science, where mistakes always precede the discovery of truth”.
We learn greatly when we are willing to ask – ‘What am I missing?’ This simple question causes us to stop and think. It’s easy to see what’s obvious, but asking tough questions bring to surface things that aren’t obvious. A wise man will hear, ask with a discerning heart to increase in learning, a man who possesses understanding will attain to wise counsel. Consider these simple questions this week: ‘What am I missing out? What do I need to know? We know little about something and yet treat it most times like we know everything.’ It is easy to make decisions based on what we know, but there are always things we don’t know. It is easy to choose a direction based on what you see, but sometimes those things we cannot see lead us into the unimaginable. We can learn from our mistakes when we admit them.