It’s so easy to find a scapegoat when you make a mistake (whether it be a small or big blunder). It has always been tougher to own up to things and face the consequences.
I did something at work that might have resulted in dire consequences had it not been spotted by someone else. While it was remedied, I can’t help but think what could’ve happened if no one saw it. It is a big blow to the ego and it hacks away at my confidence as an editor. The old me would let this eat away at me continuously and would always place the blame on my incompetency as a professional. But as I get older, I begin to understand that these mistakes are teachable moments. (Yes, I have become one of those people who talk about teachable moments.)
Make your mistake a teachable moment instead of an anchor that weighs you down.
And while it doesn’t diminish the shame I feel for what I’ve done, I have learned to think about it from the perspective of: What does this teach me? or What can I learn from here?
I no longer find any use to cling to the past and the horrible mistake I’ve made. Instead, I want to learn from it. The error won’t go away by itself. Unless I face it, unless I think about what I can do different this time to become better, it won’t go away.
The next time you find yourself with a mistake you can or can’t undo, take responsibility for it either away. Find a way to be better the next time. Make your mistake a teachable moment instead of an anchor that weighs you down.
On a somewhat related note, this topic had me stumbling over Anna Runyan’s post at Levo League about the five things successful businesswomen should’ve known and one of the pieces of advice was this:
“It’s okay to not be perfect. It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to do something that you wish you hadn’t done, because if we don’t do those things we never grow. The most important thing is that we all keep growing and that we all keep learning. A terrible mistake is to think you know everything. We are all flawed. Put yourself out there and do big things! If something doesn’t go right, make your apologies and don’t do it the next time.”