3 Things You Need to Do the Next Time You Make a Mistake

Nothing in life is perfect and most definitely nothing in business is perfect (although many times we wish it was).  So why is it that when we do something wrong and make a mistake we think it’s the worst thing ever? We’re hard on ourselves and our team, we focus on all the things that went wrong and worse yet…sometimes we quit and give up.  Mistakes happen but that doesn’t mean they are necessarily a bad thing. In fact when they happen it’s actually the best thing you can “make” because it gives you a chance to shine even more.

For years when I was in corporate I functioned under the idea that no one was allowed to “fail” and mistakes were never allowed to happen.  I thought and would actually say to people “I won’t let you fail.” But in reality nothing is perfect and mistakes happen. Mistakes happen.  Things don’t always go right. The most successful people I know have made tons of mistakes and have experienced lots of failure, including myself.  Since I started my business I’ve probably made more mistakes and experienced more failed attempts at things than actual wins but I’m totally ok with that.  Those mistakes and “failures” helped me learn and grow faster than if everything went “perfect”. And what I’ve learned since my days in corporate, when you don’t let people experience mistakes or even something not working out it potentially robs them of a valuable lesson or a-ha moment that can lead to a huge amount of growth and transformation for them.  

When mistakes happen you have a choice to give up or to go above and beyond to make the customer’s experience even more amazing, a project even better, a marketing campaign even bigger and a total blunder the thing that actually takes your business to the next level (I’ve been there myself).  A mistake gives you a chance to brainstorm new solutions with your team, show up as your best self, see things differently and learn something new. In fact there are 3 questions you can ask the next time something doesn’t go quite right or a breakdown occurs.

Question 1:  What went right with what we/you did?  What did you do amazing?

Starting with the positive and focusing on what went right with something enables you to build momentum towards finding a solution, breaking a bad habit or simply bringing the team back together after a breakdown.

Question 2:  What didn’t go so right?  What went wrong and where did the breakdowns happen?

This question is a big one.  Once you get the positive momentum running with the first question, asking yourself “so where did the breakdown happen” enables you to see things clearer.  I’ve seen some of the biggest breakthroughs, a-ha moments and new brilliant ideas come from this question. When you start with question 1 this removes the urge to “beat yourself up” or belabor the negative about the situation and focus more on finding a solution.

Question 3:  What do you need to learn and where do you need help?

Getting clear on what went right and where your strengths are plus figuring where you went wrong paves the way for understanding where you need to learn something new or even where you need to get help.  It’s a great way to see where you might need a new team member, where you need to learn a new skill or maybe it’s time to get a business coach to help.

The bigger you get, the more you have to juggle and shift which means the more mistakes and breakdowns can and will happen.  But from the biggest breakdowns the biggest breakthroughs can happen. New ideas, new ways of doing things and new growth can happen…sometimes even faster than if everything goes smoothly.  The best thing you can do when something goes wrong is take a deep breath, be the best you, handle it with grace and always focus on what you can learn from it and what you can do the next time to make it even that much better for the people you are trying to help.  

Keep shining your light!
Theresa

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