EPISODE 119 – Celebrate Your Mistakes

“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” Johnny Cash

Many people avoid putting effort into projects and tasks because they are afraid to make a mistake. Chances are they associate making mistakes with some sort of punishment. To truly grow as a person, we need to make some allowances for risk and making mistakes. Every successful entrepreneur or leader has made many mistakes and has learned from them. You have heard the saying, “If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.” If something is easy, chances are you already knew how to do it!

You do not learn and grow as a person if you are always doing the EASY stuff!

It may be time to challenge yourself! When you do things that require effort, you are learning and growing and once you complete it you will feel accomplished.

When you make mistakes and take time to self-reflect and learn from those mistakes, your brain grows. When you make the allowance for your mistakes, others will feel they have the permission to do the same. They will start acting, making mistakes, and taking new actions until they accomplish what they set out to do. You may have opened the door to conversation and got them engaged in making improvements or sharing their experiences.

Why celebrate mistakes?

Everyone has a time when they feel challenged or “stuck”. When you able to explain your thinking to another person or even out loud to yourself, you can gain a better understanding of the situation and the actions you need to take. By sharing your mistakes or understanding with others, they may see the gaps that you cannot see as they are not directly involved. They can offer objective feedback and suggest some strategies.

Here’s the thing – you can use the same strategies as someone else and still get different outcomes. It is important to ask yourself: “Am I using the right tools or strategies or could something else work better?” Entrepreneurs are constantly re-evaluating the profits and losses and looking for a better way to accomplish their goals.

Working through your mistakes to learn what you can do differently the next time feels good. Even though, you might not discover the complete answer, it feels good just to know you were working on it and therefore working your brain. Embrace the challenges and build new neuropathways in the brain. Develop a growth mindset and expand your critical thinking skills. You can apply the same process and adjust to new situations.

When you make a mistake, you could be opening the door to opportunity that would not have occurred had you not made the mistake. There are many mistakes that life-changing inventions. Spencer Silver, a researcher in the 3M laboratories was trying to make a strong adhesive but it was weaker that what currently existed. He spread the new adhesive on a piece of paper and realized he could remove it without leaving a mark. He was attempting to find a marker for his choir hymn book when the idea of Post-It Notes were born. Richard Jones, a naval engineer, was working on a meter to monitor power on naval battleships when one of the tension springs fell to the ground and the “Slinky” was born. There many more examples for you to be inspired by.

Mistakes are how creativity and innovation are born. We discover new ways to do things. Peter Drucker has suggested that if your people do not make mistakes that you should fire them as they are not doing anything interesting. Ultimately, mistakes lead to progress.

Ask yourself…

What is RIGHT about the mistake?

Are you on route to achieving your goal or finding the answer?

Are you able to identify your mistakes?

Are you able to remove the emotion and focus on the facts?

Are you being solution focused?

Remind yourself – it is okay to make mistakes! When you are making mistakes, you are growing and learning so make many and learn quickly.

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”

Neil Gaima

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DEBRA KASOWSKI, BScN CEC is an award-winning best-selling author, transformational speaker, blogger, and Certified Executive Coach. She has a heart of a teacher and is certified in Appreciative Inquiry and Emotional Intelligence. Her writing has been published in a variety of print and online magazines. Debra Kasowski International helps executives, entrepreneurs, and organizations boost their productivity, performance, and profits. It all starts with people and passion. Sign up the Success Secrets Newsletter and get your free mp3 download today! www.debrakasowski.com

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