So, You Made a Mistake. Now What?

Yes, we’ve all been there; sulkily wallowing in the utter shame and embarrassment that comes from making mistakes.


Mistakes can often discourage us from going ahead with something we’ve just started to learn, it may provoke us to quit a job or convince us that we’re not good enough. Mistakes and failure are so intrinsically intertwined, making it easy to assume and believe that there is no more room to learn and grow. This is not true! Making one mistake or even a hundred mistakes, does not automatically mean that you are a failure in life!

Every cringeworthy quote will tell you that mistakes are an integral part of learning, growing, mastering, and succeeding, and they are absolutely right! It is all part of the learning curve.


So, you made a mistake. Instead of judging and beating yourself up for it, ask yourself how you can learn and grow. What can it teach you? Keep reading for some unforgivably cringy inspiration, on how you can grow from your mistakes instead of giving up!


Be Specific

Do not be afraid to get down to the nitty-gritty of your mistakes, how else will you know what went wrong? Taking responsibility and acknowledging where you misunderstood something or how you got to the point of making that mistake, can provide a baseline for future improvement. Give your mistakes the space to teach you, to draw your attention to specific areas of something, to push you to do better. Self-reflection is key.


Define Yourself

As we have established, mistakes can be embarrassing and discouraging. That does not define you as a failure or as someone who is incompetent. Cliché coming through; your mistakes do not define you! Beating yourself up over a mistake is a self-defeating habit that will get you nowhere. Laugh about it, confidently talk about it, discuss it with others. Most successful people would not be where they are if they had not made mistakes and learnt from them.


Don’t Make the Same Mistake Twice

Have you ever told yourself, “Boy, I’m never doing that again!” and then down the road, you find yourself in the exact same situation? Honestly, you are not alone my friend. Avoiding making the same mistake twice, takes self-discipline and effort. Acknowledging where you went wrong is one thing, but how do you avoid it from happening again? Make a plan. Be as detailed as possible and write down steps that you can take to avoid making the same mistake, be aware of problem zones that may lead you down the same path, take note of what worked for you and what did not. It may seem a little over the top and cumbersome, but it will make a difference in how you grow from that point on.


Fear of Failure

Fear can be debilitating. It can stop you from pursuing your dream as a world renown pianist or it can simply stop you from moving even an inch when you find yourself faced with danger. Fear of failure can prevent you from taking the next step. Are you afraid to act? Are you making excuses for yourself, just so you can save yourself the embarrassment when things do not go as planned? You need to let go of that fear and embrace the simple fact that life is not always perfect. (Cringe!) Learn to push away your self-criticism, your doubts, your excuses. Mistakes are just proof that you are learning, trying, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and growing as an individual. What is so wrong with that?


Mistakes don’t seem so bad now, do they? In fact, making a few mistakes every now and then, seems like the way to grow. The goal is not perfection, but growth. Always look at the bigger picture. Remind yourself of your final goal and aim towards that. The road may not be smooth and perfectly manicured but if you keep trying, learning, and growing, you will get there eventually and to do that, you need to make your fair share of mistakes. I mean, everything happens for a reason, right? (Ending with the cringiest of them all!)