When you make a mistake, what is your typical response? Do you move on? Do you rehash and perhaps beat yourself up? Letting go and learning is not always easy, however it is interesting that we generally have higher expectations for ourselves than others. Being resilient requires us to learn from mistakes and then let it go. None of us are exempt from error or moments of poor judgment. We all get off track at some point, and the more resilient you are, the faster you will get back on track. For those you that are perfectionists, learning and letting go is not easy, I know that first hand. Here are five steps I have tried to help move forward after a mistake.
1. Watch the language. Instead of calling it “a screw up”, “a disaster”, or “the worst thing I ever did”, reframe this to be “a mistake” or “an opportunity to learn” or “a chance to practice being humbled.”
2. Take responsibility at the earliest point possible and correct the situation.
3. Apologize, or own up then learn the lesson and apply the learning.
4. Remember the learning next time a similar situation arises
5. Remind yourself that the energy you put into being unkind to yourself would be much better spent finding a solution.