How to Deal with Mistakes

What is a mistake?

To make progress in attaining life’s goals, one must consider mistakes seriously. Not in the attempt to avoid them, but to note the lessons from making them. A mistake is an unexpected result which is contrary to the initial plan. It may be safe to mention that mistakes can have a positive impact, others have negative impacts on us. Some mistakes lead to better results than we expected, and others produce bad results.

Mistakes can be caused by bad decisions we make. Other times, they are caused by circumstances which are not in our direct control. Either way, the result is the same, they mess up our plans and our lives. Some examples of mistakes one can make is to get pregnant while in high school. This is a situation that could truncate a person’s education and progress towards attaining dreams and goals. To be responsible, a person must learn how to tackle mistakes and turn them around for their benefit.


Mistakes are worthwhile

Every mistake brings a new lesson to our lives. Thus, they are not entirely bad or evil. Sometimes, we need to fail several times, before we learn how to get it right. This is true if we are attempting to do a thing which has never been done before or in which we have little experience. Anticipate mistakes and never shy away from doing a thing because you are scared of mistakes.

The greatest failure is to do nothing because you are afraid of failing. It is better to keep trying and fail as many times as it takes to get it right. An example is a child who learns to ride a bicycle. It is often difficult if not impossible to find a child who hops on a bicycle and just rides away. Initial effort at riding a bicycle will lead to falls until the act of balancing on a bike is mastered. Only then can the child ride successfully and with ease. On the process of attaining one’s dreams and goals, there will be a few stumbles. Here and there but with determination, every mistake can be overcome to attain success.

How to turn mistakes around

Mistakes can kill a person’s motivation and dissuade from pursuing a dream. It is disappointing to fail at a task and risk enduring the mockery and humiliation in the hands of friends and neighbors. Parents or superiors can yell and scold for the slightest errors. These are normal and expected of them. If you realize this, then you would not focus your energy on being upset with them.

If a mistake occurs, focus on three key considerations:

  • What could have caused this mistake? Take note of this.
  • Can it be reversed? If yes, then consider doing so, but only on the condition that the cost is reasonable.
  • What could be done better to achieve the intended or better results?

Responses to these three considerations will enable you to salvage the mistake and produce an even better result than initially planned. This process is important because once you have solved a particular issue, you will easily avoid and overturn such mistakes in the future. This is the first mark of responsibility.


Did you ever make any mistakes that you bounced back from? Stronger? Share your story with us in the comment section below.


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Michael Ukwuma

Michael Ukwuma

Michael is a Project Manager with years of experience in nonprofits and managing startups. He shares what he has learnt over time with like-minded persons. He gives classes to persons who plan a future in the nonprofits sector or as entrepreneurs.

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