Mistakes in life can be a tricky topic; above all else, we can all agree that they aren't enjoyable. Whether they are mistakes made in our personal life, in our career, or on the path to success, they can be damaging. However, do they have to be this way? In truth, if we let a mistake play on our mind and don’t address the problem, they will just keep occurring over and over again. With this in mind, what is the solution?
Ultimately, mistakes can actually be more helpful than successes because they can teach us a lot more. Whilst mistakes are caused by doing something wrong, success can easily occur by ‘accident’ or by ‘fluke’ and this doesn't really allow any growth, it just gives a false sense of confidence. When you make a mistake, there is clearly something that has to be improved in order to avoid the mistake ever occurring in the future; for example, it may be a certain skill that you need to learn.
If we look at a simple example, what would you do if you made a mistake on a piece of paperwork at your job? If you didn't find out how to improve, you would keep messing up this part of your job every single time you had to complete it. For this reason, you would ask someone how to do it properly so you can then do it correctly from that moment on. This is an extremely basic process but somehow, that natural thought gets lost when we make mistakes in other areas of life. Although we want to put mistakes behind us as quickly as possible, we still need to go through that learning process before we can improve otherwise we will make the mistake time and time again.
As you can now see, mistakes can be more important than successes because they allow for more growth. In life, you have to use every opportunity you can to learn as this will help you to become a stronger person. If you are career-minded, you might want to pay attention to this closely because potential employers love to hear mistakes you have made in the past; a common misconception is that they want to know because they want to see your weaknesses but this isn't the case. Employers often ask ‘what has been your biggest mistake’, or something along these lines, because they want to hear what lesson you learned and how you have carried that forwards.
Hugh Prather, a famous writer, once said “I sometimes react to making a mistake as if I have betrayed myself. My fear of making a mistake seems to be based on the hidden assumption that I am potentially perfect and that if I can just be very careful I will not fall from heaven. But a ‘mistake’ is a declaration of the way I am, a jolt to the way I intend, a reminder I am not dealing with the facts. When I have listened to my mistakes I have grown.”