Mistakes are OK… Really… As Long as You Don’t Make 3 Additional Mistakes

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Last Updated on November 20, 2023 by Bill Truby

Mistakes are ok. Really. Your mistakes are just as much an indicator of your success as your achievements. The key is to not make three common additional mistakes when you DO make a mistake.

You WILL Make Mistakes

It’s an easy prediction. You WILL make mistakes on the path to achieving goals. Rarely does an achievement process go smoothly.

If you’re like others, when you read the previous paragraph you readily agree with it. AND, if you ARE like others, you’re still discouraged, upset, angry, or even surprised when you DO make a mistake. You may beat yourself up. Maybe even start believing you are on the wrong path.

Truth is…you forgot the truth. You WILL make mistakes along the way toward an achievement.

Now, let me help you avoid three additional mistakes people pile onto the mistake they have made.

Mistake #1: Forgetting that you are human and you will make mistakes

Expect mistakes.

They are evidence of your trying to get, be, or do better. Good mistakes aren’t intentional. They are by-products of working toward success…at anything – running your business or cleaning your kitchen. Don’t beat yourself up. Accept mistakes.

Accepting mistakes means you are accepting that you are human. And humans need forgiveness. Give yourself a little grace. If you are human, you are not perfect. If you are not perfect, you will make mistakes. If you live in your mistake you are finished. If you forgive yourself, you can move on.

Mistake #2: Not practicing mistakes

Ever take piano lessons? Voice lessons? Attempted to learn a song? What happens when you make a mistake. You DON’T practice that mistake. Instead, you rehearse what you WANT to play or sing. Too often people keep talking about and “rehearsing” the mistake rather than moving on to rehearse the practice or outcome you want.

It is important to do contingency planning, however. BUT, you don’t practice the potential problem, you practice the needed solution.

Airline pilots, sports teams, soldiers, physicians, and a host of others, anticipate scenarios where something could go horribly wrong. Then they practice the skills needed to get out of trouble when that kind of a mistake is made.

You’re not going to catch all the mistakes that could be made, but giving a little thought about the direction you’re going and asking, “What if…?” can help you anticipate what could happen so you can develop a contingency plan if it does.

Mistake #3: Not learning from your mistake

When you make a mistake it can cause problems. But if you don’t learn from that mistake you’re destined to repeat it. And that compounds the problem.

Good leaders, high-performing teams, well-functioning individuals never repeat the same mistake twice. They learn, correct, and then take preventative steps to never let it happen again.

I’m sure you’ve heard, “To err is human…” You ARE going to make mistakes. Accept it. It’s HOW you deal with the mistake that’s the key. This quick article is not designed to prevent mistakes, it’s to help you make “good mistakes.” And when you make a good mistake, that mistake helps make you.

How do you know if you’re making good mistakes? Here’s one way to tell. Ask yourself, “Am I making the same mistakes over and over again, or am I making new ones?”

Hint… making new ones is ok.


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Bill Truby

Founder and President of Truby Achievements