How to Get Over your Mistakes and Learn from Them

We all make mistakes. It’s unavoidable. However, even though this is the most normal thing in the world, we have a lot of difficulty in coping with them.

Improvement happens when we change the way we do things, when we recognize some flaw or when we discover new paths to success. Often, to accomplish this, we first have to get lost and do something wrong or fail.

That enables our future successes, and the more mistakes we make, the faster we learn. So let’s take a look at these eight strategies to get over your mistakes and learn the most out of them.

Accept the mistakes.

The first step is to recognize that you made a mistake and that the world didn’t end because of it. You need to associate the problem with yourself and recognize that this happened. Denying it or finding someone else to blame, will only postpone the inevitable acceptance and can prevent you from learning anything new from it.

Always remember: “The greatest mistake a man can ever make is to be afraid of making one.”

Analyze the mistake.

A mistake can provide a lot more information than a failure. It can reveal an unexpected factor, a weakness, a flaw, or bad timing. You can do better by taking these things into account, when dealing with the same situation in future.

Treat the mistake as a learning opportunity, as this is the best thing you can do to make it worth it. If you have a hard time seeing what went wrong, you might ask others for their opinions and input as well.

Sometimes, you might need to put some distance between the mistake and yourself to analyze it better, so give it a bit of time and cool down.

Change your priorities.

A mistake can lead you to evaluate or change your priorities. For instance, maybe you have been piling up your work, and that contributed to the mistake you made.

Considering the factors that could have played a role and also the way your life is organized at the moment can be very useful in identifying priorities and shifting them around.

Embrace your strengths.

The next question to ask yourself is whether you are embracing your strengths or not?

Often, we make mistakes because we try to follow a process that doesn’t work for us, as we are not considering the thing we are best at.

For example, some students might do better studying through visual means rather than reading books. Focus on the things you do well and use them to reinforce your ability.

Clarify your goals.

The next step is to clarify your goal. Sometimes, we make mistakes because we are not entirely sure of what we want. Ask yourself what you truly want and whether the problem is with the goal or with the way you chose to pursue it.

It’s not the same thing to want to lose weight or to become healthier. When you have a clear goal and plan to pursue it, you will be less likely to make a mistake.

Avoid repeating mistakes.

If you want to grow, instead of trying to make no mistakes at all, you should try to make a different one each time. This means that once you’ve made a mistake, you need to consider how to avoid it in the future. Take into account everything that you have learned, and don’t repeat what went wrong.

“It’s not a mistake to make a mistake, But it’s a mistake to repeat the same mistake.”

Don’t think it over and over.

It’s important not to get stuck on a single mistake. Sometimes, we replay it over and over again. This makes us feel as if the situation was more significant and had a bigger impact. It can feel like a disaster.

A better strategy is to analyze it, file it away, and then cut off the train of thought that leads to the same old mistake.

Be compassionate with yourself.

One of the most meaningful things you can do to overcome a mistake is to forgive yourself for making it.
Don’t beat yourself up; avoid harsh criticisms and mean labels (like stupid, lazy, and so on).

A good tip is to imagine that a good friend made this mistake. Would you call them names? Would you be so unforgiving?
Extend the same compassion towards yourself, and that will help you overcome your mistakes much faster.

Overall, learning to manage your mistakes can make life much more pleasant and help us get better.

Here’s a quote from Henry Ford – “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”

How will you use the lessons learned from your past mistakes to help push and motivate you to do more?