Mistakes Happen: Level Up & Take Ownership

Today’s blog is all about the mindset shift needed when it comes to daily setbacks, accidents, and mistakes. We need to train our mind to accept and learn from these common mistakes so that we can live our best life.

There seems to be this misconception that making mistakes is a bad thing. Do you remember the movie Billy Madison? (I hope so, it was a great movie!) Do you remember the scene when the little boy accidentally pee’s his pants on the field trip? (Yikes) This moment was funny at first sure and we all probably laughed. But, when Billy noticed how the kid was feeling he decides to take a crappy situation and turn it around. Billy knew that the other kids would laugh, mock, and make fun of this kid. So what did Billy do…. Yep, Billy decided to go to the water fountain and put water on his pants. Suddenly, all the little kids were wetting their pants because it was the “cool” thing to do. Trust me there is a point coming, just hang in there. This moment in the movie was a turning point for not only the little kid who had an accident and became a trendsetter but also for Billy Madison. You see, this was the point in the movie that the teacher started “falling” for Billy. (So cute) The point of my story here is that it’s ok to make mistakes. Setbacks, accidents and mistakes are “cool” if we are growing and learning from them then that’s all that matters.

You see most people are afraid to make mistakes, they feel like they are weak, stupid, or somehow less of a person. The truth is, making mistakes brings you one step closer to your success.

Just in case you are saying this to yourself… Karissa, I make lots of mistakes and apparently, I don’t learn from them because I make the same mistake repeatedly. I would answer back… Great! Because, this is the first step to shifting the mindset beliefs around setbacks, accidents and mistakes. I am about to give you 4 tips on how to start learning and growing from your mistakes. Are you ready? Good, let’s begin…

  1. Take ownership. When we can learn to take ownership of our mistakes, this allows us to put the ego, pride, and fear away and look at the situation at hand. Sure, you totally screwed up the big proposal, but if you take a moment to step back without judgment and see that “screw up” with curiosity then you start to understand where and when you fell short. Now the next time the big project/proposal is in your hands to complete, I guarantee you won’t be making the same mistake again.
  2. Don’t be afraid to CALL yourself out! Nothing is worse than turning in that report to the boss with mistakes, hoping that he doesn’t catch them. Trust me; He would rather hear you say…. Wow, I turned the report in and realized that I had a few errors, do you mind if I make some minor changes so that you have the right report in hand?” Part two of Step two is once you have turned in the “right” report then you need to step back and identify your mistake so that you can understand how to prevent it next time. Example: You decided that instead of working on the “big” report you put your focus on the little daily to-dos. Why? Because they are easier to complete and completing to-do’s feels good. Then you realized… the big project is due tomorrow and now you are scrambling around like a chicken. Sure, you could tell yourself that you ran out of time (total excuse) or you could say I really need to prioritize my to-do list better.
  3. Find Solutions! Mistakes are important only if you start to learn how to prevent them. Let’s say that your next three big reports were late and had some minor errors, did you learn from the first mistake? Hell no, you pulled a Brittany “Oops I did it again.” Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” So, if you’re tired of making the same mistake over and over, step back and find a solution. When I worked at Offutt Collision Repair as the HR Generalist I would have employees come into my office and complain about certain situations. My response was… Don’t complain unless you have a solution or suggestion to fix the problem. Let’s just say that the employee would leave my office and come back the next day with a possible solution. (Victory dance, win for Karissa!)
  4. Once you can take ownership, call yourself out, be solution focused, it’s now time to learn to communicate. If you made a mistake, ask for forgiveness. An apology doesn’t show weakness; it shows passion, care, and commitment to doing things the right way. The moral of my long drawn out story is that it’s totally ok to make mistakes; we are human after all. (I hope you’re not a robot) But we must learn to train our brain to find the learning opportunity that is right in front of us. If not, we are like hamsters in a wheel going round and round and getting nowhere. If you find yourself in the hamster wheel going around and around never getting anywhere important call me. Let’s chat about how you can get out of that rut and start living life to the fullest.


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