Achievements don’t come easily. Often times, mistakes will be made, but how could we capitalize off of our mistakes? Luckily, Stress Management keynote speaker and author Jones Loflin provides us with tools on how to turn our mishaps into powerful catalysts for success.
While we marvel at the success of individuals and organizations, there’s an uncomfortable truth most of the leaders share that we would like to avoid: We must make a significant number of mistakes if we want to be successful.
Whether it’s a choice about how we will lead our team, solve a problem, or navigate change, our preference would be to only take action when there is little chance for failure. We want to avoid false starts, confusion, and appearing like we don’t have all the answers. The irony is that it’s that failure, that mistake, that is so often the key to finding the right solution.
If your stomach churns and head starts pounding when you are considering a course of action that might end in failure, remember these six benefits of making the incorrect choice:
Mistakes help you discover who you truly are. If you aren’t making any, you have no idea of your potential for growth, learning, or your limitations. You also are robbing yourself of the tremendous opportunity to clarify your purpose and passion not only for your work, but for your personal success.
Mistakes are essential to letting go of fear. Growing up, there was one room in our home that had the “pull chain” light fixture. You had to get to the center of the room before you could turn on the light. I’ll never forget the day I finally mustered the courage move through the darkness and pull the chain. That one simple act allowed me to enter future unknown spaces with less fear. Moving beyond our comfort zone always lessens our fears and gives us greater confidence to tackle future uncertainties.
Mistakes are essential to succeeding in a complex environment. In The Wisdom Of Deliberate Mistakes, the authors write: “The more complex an environment becomes, the less likely you are to understand it completely. Intentional mistakes can help you see the weaknesses of your mental models and explore other ways of approaching a problem.” Few workplace or life challenges have simple and straightforward solutions. Determining the best course of action will often come from a “learning by doing” approach as opposed to in-depth analysis and trying to avoid making the incorrect choice.
Mistakes help you make better future choices. As I wrote in Five Ways To Fail In Times Of Change, mistakes give us a chance to examine the “why” behind our choice, and see if we need to use a different methodology when pondering our next course of action. For example, if many of your mistakes are the result of not seeking advice from someone before “taking the leap,” perhaps it’s time to more proactively seek guidance from others.
Mistakes make you more humble. There is a sense of arrogance that can envelop you when you are only attempting those things at which you know you will be successful. Something in life will eventually knock you down, and knowing how to cope with that is difficult if you haven’t experienced setbacks in the past. Bill Gates captured this idea brilliantly when he said, Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.
Mistakes ensure you live life with less regrets. If you listen to people talk about their regrets in their career and life, there is a three letter word that usually follows, “I regret.” The word? “Not.” Rarely do we regret the things we did do.
Where do you need to make more mistakes? As a leader, are you creating the environment where people are comfortable making mistakes to find a better solution?
In life, it’s rarely about the chances you get; it’s about the chances you take
Stay up to date on all the latest news at Eagles Talent