You made a mistake. You lost confidence in yourself. Your performance is starting to suffer. People tend to do that from time to time. As a leader I have found that thinking positively, with the right perspective, can help you recover. This is a simple idea, yet hard to do. Here are 5 ways to ensure you think the right thoughts, in the midst of a mistake.
You might have made a mistake or done something dumb, as we tend to do. You offended someone or broke something valuable. Maybe you were dishonest. Whatever it is, these steps can help guide you back.
1. Accept the mistake. – If you did it, don’t try to justify it, just own it. You will begin to see that it’s probably not the end of your life. You may have caused damage, but, you’re probably not going to get eaten by a shark or buried alive. Apologize if necessary and move on. That’s all you can do at first. Make sure the apology is sincere, if one is required.
2. Don’t beat yourself up. – You’re human right? This is going to happen every now and then. Other people may start talking about you, but so what? People don’t define your worth, only God can do that. Also, ensure you properly identify the mistake. For example, making an informed decision that didn’t work out may not be a mistake at all, it could be bad luck.
3. Find value. My wife says that she learns a lot of rules, by breaking them. As a student of leadership, you should always look for value in mistakes. Learn from mistakes and don’t repeat them. Perhaps you can prepare better next time? Maybe you can mentor someone in the future to not make the same mistake? We fail to realize that we are a better resource for people when we expose our whole experience, mistakes and all. It builds trust.
4. Have a main goal to shift back to. – For some it’s their faith, for others, it’s family. This is another way of saying, “find your why”. When you are frustrated by mistakes, it’s important to remember that what you think, becomes your reality. One way to do this is to have a focal point. A goal that you’re totally committed to can keep you going. Remembering past successes can also get you back on your feet.
5. Don’t take yourself too seriously. – Sometimes we feel the need to protect our reputation. We want others to see us in a certain light, so we get caught up in trying to be perfect. Really? Who are you? Do you think the stranger standing next to you at the store cares that you screwed something up?. Don’t let a mistake affect the rest of your day. The sooner you get over it, the sooner you can move on. Don’t give mistakes power. Most times, we think the consequences of a mistake are way worse than they actually are.
See the trend. It’s all about our thoughts. When you stay positive and maintain the proper perspective, you can turn mistakes into experience. Also, hiding mistakes puts you in a place where you can’t effectively influence or mentor others, because they don’t trust you. Remember, God’s power is made perfect in our weakness. See 2 Corinthians 12:9