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Learning from mistakes

Learning from mistakes

You can only learn from a mistake after you admit you've made it.

Don't start blaming other people (or the universe) for the things that go wrong, because you distance yourself from any possible lesson. 

@maxwellad116

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How we perceive failure

We see mistakes and failure as shameful things. And we usually identify with them:

If I fail a test, then I am a failure. If I make a mistake then I am a mistake.

It requires three things:

  • Putting yourself in situations where you can make interesting mistakes.
  • Having the self-confidence to admit to them.
  • Being courageous about making changes.
  • Stupid: Absurdly dumb things that just happen. 
  • Simple: Mistakes that are avoidable but your sequence of decisions made inevitable. 
  • Involved: Mistakes that are understood but require effort to prevent.
  • Complex: Mistakes that have complicated causes and no obvious way to avoid next time. 

When you can laugh at your own mistakes you know you've accepted it and no longer judge yourself on the basis of one single event. 

Humor loosens up your psychology and prevents you from obsessing about the past.

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RELATED IDEAS

Facing mistakes often takes us straight to the heart of our fears. And when we experience and face those fears, they can disappear. 

When we are stuck and admit that we can't do it alone it sends a signal and opens the door for help to show up. People, resources, and solutions will appear, especially when we ask for help.

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IDEAS

Humor is a great psychological tool to get and keeping people on your side. Use it wisely, and use it often—especially when you screw up.

The next time you find yourself staring out at a crowd of people who just saw you make a huge mistake—and they know it was a mistake—don’t ignore it. Don’t try to cover it up. Don’t nervously apologize over and over. Use humor.

Poorly-prepared presentations, reports, or emails frustrate your audience and can, over time, damage your reputation.

  • Set aside time to plan your communication thoroughly.
  • Create a credible, intelligent, and compelling message that emotionally and intellectually appeals to your audience.
  • Leave time to proofread and to finalize your presentation.