Making mistakes is an inevitable part of life. We all make mistakes at school, at home, and at work. A mistake might be a social one, such as unintentionally hurting someone’s feelings. It could also be a professional one, like missing a deadline to have a task completed.
When we make a mistake, we have a choice as to how we deal with it. However, this may be harder than it seems. Learning to manage our mistakes in a healthy way can take time and practise. However, if we try too hard to avoid making mistakes at all, we risk staying in our comfort zones and missing out on new opportunities. For this reason, it’s important to develop skills in this area.
In an ideal situation, some productive ways to handle a mistake include:
Remember that these are general steps, so they won’t necessarily apply to all circumstances. For instance, if you upset someone in a social setting, they might not always accept your apology – especially if they need time to cool off first. In this case, it’s important to keep in mind that you can’t control other people’s responses to your mistakes, even if you try your best to do the right thing.
Resilience is the ability to ‘bounce back’ after making a mistake or experiencing a setback. Some people may find it difficult not to fixate on a mistake.
Sometimes, resilience can come from experience. You might notice that when you start something new, you make a lot of mistakes that feel frustrating (and even embarrassing). But once you’re familiar with the task, you feel more confident in your ability to handle the mistakes, and may even make fewer of them.
If you need extra strategies for developing resilience, you might consider things like: