Increase your odds of bouncing back successfully by unlearning the stigma of making mistakes.
We've been trained to think that mistakes are bad, things we should be ashamed of. I want to challenge you to unlearn that little fact and replace it with knowledge about how to deal with mistakes, and respect for the knowledge mistakes offer. Look at it this way. Mistakes happen to everyone. The real question is, what happens next? Imagine you just missed an important deadline, or you completely forgot about the big meeting. Now what? You can increase your odds of bouncing back successfully by remembering these guidelines.
First, start by internally owning the error and dealing with the emotions. Admit to yourself that this thing happened. It can't be undone and yes, you were the primary reason it happened. Acknowledge that emotions are present, whether that might be embarrassment or anger. And give yourself a short deadline to get rid of them, so that you can move forward after the emotions have gone back down to normal levels. Next, start thinking. Specifically, think about why the mistake occurred. Your goal is to pinpoint the cause.
What can you do differently to make sure that particular mistake never happens again? It's time to realize that when you understand mistakes, you understand how to become successful. The only question is whether you're open to turning mistakes into great learning moments. Next, fess up. No blame, no excuses. Take quick and full responsibility for your misstep and, if needed, apologize. Be completely sincere and authentic because others will know whether or not you mean it.
When others see you fess up, they'll forgive you faster and respect you more. Now it's time to clean up whatever mess you made. Don't allow a small error to go unattended and have a chance to grow. If you need to see a client, call someone, or redo some analysis, do it. In the case that there's nothing you can do, at least signal to your boss or co-workers that you're still interested in helping in any way possible. Finally, it's time to move on. You've owned up to what you did, tried honestly to fix things and made any needed apologies and spent time in thought about how to prevent this type of error in the future.
So, it's time to move on. Make a conscious choice to cut it loose and let go. Make the choice to start immediately producing high quality work so that you and everybody else forgets about the incident entirely. Mistakes happen to everyone, however, learning and growth as a result of mistakes is a choice you have to make. I want you to make that choice, so that errors don't become confidence killers but instead catalysts for improvement.