If you’re human, you are going to make mistakes. I love
Denis Waitley’s perspective: “Mistakes are painful when they happen, but years
later a collection of mistakes is what is called experience.”
John Maxwell says there are two kinds of people in regards to setbacks: splatters, who hit the bottom, fall apart and stay on the bottom; and bouncers, who hit rock bottom, pull themselves together, and bounce back up.
Here are a few thoughts that will help you turn your
mistakes into success.
1. Don’t base your self-worth on your mistakes.
Your value as a human being is found in far more than your
performance. You can become your own worst enemy by telling yourself, “I am a
failure,” or “I’ll never be good enough.” If you fail, keep a healthy
perspective and coach yourself up. You are not defined by your worst moments.
2. Don’t feel sorry for yourself.
When you make a mistake, pick yourself up quickly and get
moving again. If you start to wallow, you might get stuck. Focus on the good
that you can make out of the difficulty. Don’t forget, the experience that you
gain from mistakes will serve you well five years down the road when you are
leading someone going through something similar.
3. Do consider your failures as a process to learn and improve.
Take the attitude of a scientist: when their work fails,
they just call it an experiment that didn’t work! It is amazing how something
this simple can change your perspective and attitude about making a mistake.
Psychologist Dr. Joyce Brothers said, “The person interested in success has to
learn to view failure as a healthy, inevitable part of the process of getting
to the top.”
4. Don’t give up!
Author and speaker Og Mandino has some impactful words on
this topic. He said, “Mistakes are life’s way of teaching you. Your capacity
for occasional blunders is inseparable from your capacity to reach your goals. How
will you know your limits without an occasional failure?” Shake it off. Your
turn will come. Believing that is essential for success.
If you are facing a bad experience because of a mistake that
you made, let the bad experience lead you to a good experience. Remember, good
experiences are often a result of previous bad experiences. Bad experiences are
only bad if you fail to learn from them.
Ask yourself this question: How can I take this bad experience and turn it into a better one?
I’ll always remember these strong words from Winston Churchill, “Success is not final; failure is not fatal. It’s the courage to continue that counts.”
John Maxwell Leadership Podcast