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November 1, 2019

Everyone makes mistakes. I’ve made a lot, and I’m gonna make more. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not learning fast enough. Here’s what to do after a mistake.

Own It

You made a mistake. It happened. It’s ok.

Owning your mistake gives you agency and power.

Admitting it publicly makes you more accountable, and more human. It increases psych safety. You lead by example. Your identity is not tied up in being perfect.

Do you want to live in a world where everyone is comfortable talking about their mistakes, or no one is?

Fix It

You are responsible for fixing your mistake.

You don’t have to do it alone. Seek help if you need it. From your friends, from the person you wronged, from others, from the public.

Be creative. A “fix” does not have to be a return to a past state of the world. Sometimes you can’t go back. And sometimes you can make things even better than they were.

Learn From It

Don’t repeat your mistakes. A mistake is a gift, a signal, an opportunity to improve. You already paid the price. Don’t waste the opportunity.

Move On

No need to dwell on your errors.

Mistakes are not catastrophic. They don’t last forever. They don’t make you worthless or evil.

You owned your mistake, you fixed it, and you learned from it. You’re done. Move on. Apply what you learned. Live your life.

h/t Barbara Coloroso