Turn Your Mistakes Into Your Mission

Brett Jordan - Unsplash Photo by: Brett Jordan - Unsplash

Turn Your Mistakes Into Your Mission


Turn Your Mistakes Into Your Mission: Mistakes are a part of life. We all make them, sometimes they are minor ones, and at other times, they can be significant and impactful to ourselves and others. The best part about making any mistake is that you, in most cases, can get a do-over if you take the time to apologize. A heartfelt apology makes it a learning experience and turns the negative situation into a positive one. But there are a few feelings that you may encounter in the process, and a few of the tips below can help you grow from the experience. 


“Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow.” 


Mary Tyler Moore


Acknowledge Your Mistake

Admitting that you made a mistake and hurt someone can be painful. It is hard to be humble and acknowledge that you made a mistake. Apologizing and making amends can be the best thing you can do for yourself and others. Realize that as you do this, you are not only validating the other person’s hurt and their feelings, but you are also setting up a learning process for yourself. Don’t try to reverse the blame to the person you just hurt to make yourself feel better. When you know, it is entirely your fault. Accept full responsibility and apologize.

Don’t Self-Shame

For some, the most challenging part of making a mistake is having guilt and beating yourself up afterward. We are all human and say or do the wrong thing at some time or another. But in the aftermath of a mistake, you may experience inner mind chatter and criticism. The internal conversation is usually around how you could have done this or should’ve said that. This judgemental inner self-talk can sometimes be more challenging than the actual mistake you made. Just note, self-shaming will not correct the error that you made and may be very damaging to your self-esteem in the long run. The key is to learn when to cut off chastising self-talk that makes you feel worthless, especially after you’ve made a colossal mistake. Listen to your self-criticism for a moment, then realize that you need to stay positive and get back on track. Don’t dwell. Take positive action to correct and make things better. 

Use Mistakes As A Learning Experience

Many successful people make mistakes every day, and they use their mistakes as positive learning tools. What worked? What Didn’t Work? Looking at your mistakes from a different perspective can bring a new understanding and realization of handling your mistakes differently. As you go through life, honing in on the lessons is far more helpful to direct you on a better path and teach you a few things along the way. 


“Maybe our mistakes are what make our fate.

Without them, what would shape our lives?” 


Carrie Bradshaw 


Nobody’s Perfect

We all start with a limited amount of knowledge about life. Our reference points are family and friends, the schools we go to, and the people we associate with daily. As we grow and learn, we accumulate life experiences that help us navigate life and do the right thing. The different people and relationships we encounter enrich our experiences and knowledge of how we may handle certain things in life. There are very few individuals in the world that can do this instinctively and correctly all the time. Just realize that each experience helps guide you in the direction of learning. 


“I don’t forgive people because I’m weak,

I forgive them because I am strong enough

to know people make mistakes.”


Marilyn Monroe


Don’t Procrastinate

Many times procrastination can be a sign of fear. After all, if you never start, you will never have to deal with making a mistake. If you aren’t moving forward with what you want to do because you are afraid of making a mistake, you are already technically making a mistake. So procrastination is not an answer to being scared. Fear can hinder your life in such an impactful way on many levels. Hesitating to move forward really means you are not doing or achieving anything. And at the end of the day, you have made the biggest mistake of all – stagnation. 

Don’t Let Mistakes Define Who You Are

A meme is going around that says, “When I make a mistake, I make it 5 or 6 times, just to make sure I learn”. This self-effacing, joking meme can have a deeper meaning. When you attach a statement that makes you look like you are constantly making mistakes, chances are you put into motion a forecast that will ultimately come true. Don’t speak or have attitudes of self-defeat or project a negative outcome. You are not your mistakes. They are only a sentence in your life, not the whole book. 


“Experience is simply the name we

give our mistakes.”


Oscar Wilde


The Takeaway

We all have lessons to learn from our mistakes in life, but they don’t define us. An excellent way to navigate and reflect is to talk to a friend or mentor, and a support system can be a helpful soundboard. Communicate your thoughts and try to distance yourself from any emotional feelings you may have. Explore new ways of learning from your mistakes to make them more productive so they will positively influence your life.  

The most important thing to remember is to be kind to yourself. Mistakes are just like curb sensors on a car. They help you not to hit the curb and keep on the road.