Do You Make Mistakes?

May 12, 2015 9:00 am

Do you still make mistakes in your business? I do! There you are, in front of thousands of people, I have just admitted that I make mistakes. What kind of mistakes, you ask? Stupid ones, little ones, big ones, dumb ones,– mistakes of all kinds. From time to time an incredibly stupid thing will happen in spite of all my vigilance. In spite of my best efforts, things will happen.
Okay, we all make mistakes, isn’t that true? Sure, we do, but the important part is how do we deal with them?  My natural reaction is ego driven, to start beating myself up. Even talking to myself out loud, saying, “How could you do something so stupid?” or, “You know better than that!” or, “Are you starting to lose it?”
Then the higher brain jumps in to the rescue. I start to calm down. I say to myself, “this is not the end of the world’, and I start to immediately put the matter in perspective. I remind myself that I just had the pleasure of a true learning experience. Now, the trick here is to really mean it. Know in your heart that this is, in fact, another learning experience along the bumpy road of life– and then try to learn from it!
Focus briefly on how this happened. Here you need to be candid with yourself with no sugar coating. “Man, you screwed up and here is how this happened.” Now you will need to make the necessary changes so that you don’t make the same mistake again. Unless you make a change in the way you do things, the same thing will surely someday come about again.
The next stage involves forgiveness. Admit your mistake, first to yourself and then to the other person to whom you may have made the mistake. Say it clearly, “this one was my mistake.” Depending upon the mistake, the other person may or may not choose to accept your apology. It is nice when they do, but that is not what is at issue. Make the statement, the apology or the offer of recompense and move on.
The final phase is the “Move-On” phase and it can be the toughest. Some folks have a tendency to replay a mistake again and again, like rewinding an old video tape machine, playing the same scene over and over in their mind, and hoping that on the next viewing there will be a different outcome. If you have truly forgiven yourself, then moving on means not allowing your inner guilt to permit yourself to rewind the scene. If you must, play it differently. Imagine yourself next time doing the right thing. Imagine yourself at another time when you did do the right thing. And then, MOVE-ON.
The more we live life, the more we learn, and the hardest lessons are to keep a grateful attitude at all times. We have so much to be thankful for.

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