So, you’ve just experienced your first major failure at work. What do you do now? We live in a time where workplaces are more competitive than ever, and the pressure to be perfect can make instances of failure seem earth-shattering. You may feel as if you’ve ruined your reputation, proven yourself incompetent, or lost your chances for success.
But this isn’t the case at all! There’s a benefit to losing — you get to learn from your mistakes.
Define the Mistake
Start by defining the mistake. Failure is often the end result of a mistake or misunderstanding, and to grow from it you have to know what you did wrong.
Try retracing your steps and pinpointing the error. Then ask yourself why the mistake happened. Was it because of external influence or because you didn’t understand your job, or because you were careless? Each of these causes has very different meanings and must be dealt with in their own way which is why defining the mistake is vital.
How Do You Avoid Making the Same Mistake Again?
Think of it like this: you’re walking in a forest and come upon several paths leading in different directions. Which is the right one? You may take the wrong path at first and find yourself back where you started. At that point, you still don’t know which is the correct path, but you know which one isn’t.
This is the key to learning from your mistakes. By using intuition and logical reasoning, you can eventually work out the correct solution which is always more valuable than if you were to blindly get it right all the time.
Also, ask for constructive feedback from your co-workers and managers. When you’re open about your mistake and take responsibility your peers will want to help you solve it.
Finally, let it go
The mistake happened. You learned from it. Now let it go.
Your mistakes don’t define you as a professional but the way you handle your mistakes can show a lot about your character to your peers. We are always quick to assume that people are judging us or think of us as incapable but this is rarely the case. Everyone relates to and understands failure. It’s one of the most universal experiences in the world. If you make the active choice to correct your mistakes and move forward then people see your hard work and initiative.
Don’t let heartbreak at work stop you. Maybe you haven’t found the right solution yet but you’ll never find it if you don’t try again.