Recovering from mistakes – a series. Part 3. Finding Value

IMG_0546.PNGI wrote an article here about recovering from mistakes. In it, I gave 5 ways to recover from your mistakes. In this series, I will look at each one a little deeper.

1. Accept the mistake.

2. Don’t beat yourself up.

3. Find value.

4. Have a main goal to shift back to.

5. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Today we explore #3- Find value.

My wife once told me that she often learns the rules by breaking them.  There’s a lot of truth in that statement.

If you’ve ever seen the movie “Megamind”, there’s a part where Megamind is called a loser and he indicates that there’s an advantage to losing.  “You get to learn from your mistakes.”

How many times have you heard success stories where, the successful attempt was only accomplished after numerous failures?

I have learned from every leader, in every organization I have been involved in.  That’s not to say that all of the leaders were good.  Some were downright horrible.  If you are paying attention, you can learn from both good and bad leaders.  Good ones show you how to do it and bad ones show you what to avoid.  Why not learn from their failures?

Your mistakes belong to you, so own them.  Use them and study them.  The worst thing you can do is waste an opportunity.  Don’t make a mistake and learn absolutely nothing in the process. That’s a lose-lose situation.

That’s what I want to stress today.  Mistakes become our life lessons.  Our experiences.  They get to be a part of what makes us, us.  Our history is filled with mistakes.  Of course, when isolated, we wish we didn’t make them, but together, they add to the knowledge and wisdom that guides you today.  I’ve heard it said that you can’t connect the dots until you look back over you past.

When you make a mistake, look for the value.  See what you can learn.  Since your’re going to make mistakes anyway, you may as well gain something from them.  We all do this on some level today.  But real leaders who stretch themselves will make more mistakes and by extension, will become wiser than those who “play it safe”.

These type of people probably expect to make mistakes.

Having a central focus point can help us not worry about mistakes and channel that energy instead, into educating ourselves.  We’ll explore that topic in my next blog post.