We all make mistakes. Here’s how to make the most of them.

I recently had a talk with someone who had made a mistake. They didn’t break any rules or laws. The mistake was more of a personal accountability issue. It was like a failure on a mental fortitude challenge. The kind of mistake that won’t get you in trouble with the law, but it could get you voted off an island.

After discussing the mistake I shared 2 simple lessons with this person. Because there are lessons in everything. Kind of like high fructose corn syrup.

The 2 lessons:

  1. Know how The Ideal You would handle this type of situation. The Ideal You provides a north star for navigating all decisions.
  2. Allow this experience to help your self-confidence, not hurt it. This is the key difference between a learning and a losing situation.

When you identify a mistake and can quickly learn and adjust from it, the mistake is a win. A positive. A way to quickly get better. You fail fast, learn, and improve. It’s a basic success formula for startups and sitcoms with teenage casts.

When you make a mistake don’t continue to beat yourself up over it. Because then you deal with both the mistake and the loss of self-confidence. Which is a lose-lose proposition.

Mistake identification and correction should always lead to both growth and an increase in confidence. After all, you have just learned how to avoid the same mistake in the future. You are better equipped. You have more experience. And more knowledge. All of which should make you feel more confident. Like Demi Lovato. Or like you used Sure deodorant.

Pay careful attention to your mental trajectory when you leave a mistake. If you are still pointing down, you are mistaking wrong. You have already made your error. You have learned your lesson. You already know what to do better next time. So point your attitude arrow up and to the right. It is time for growth and improvement. Time to rise and shine.

Key Takeaway

When you make a mistake learn from it. Let the learning add to your confidence. Emerge from a mistake better and more prepared for whatever comes your way next. Give yourself permission to be an amateur at everything. Then just keep getting better with every mistake you make.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+For more of the best life lessons I have learned check out my book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.