Berger Leadership Blog

Jul 21, 2017

5 ways to gain a life lesson out of a mistake

Learning from mistakes

We all make mistakes, shake our heads and think to ourselves that we'll never do ____ again. Unfortunately, it's not uncommon to make that same mistake again... and again. There are ways, though, to get out of this rut and gain valuable life lessons.

Amy Morin, contributor to Forbes, recently wrote about five ways we can learn from our mistakes. Her list includes:

  1. Acknowledge your errors. You have to be able to admit to yourself that you messed up and take responsibility for the outcome.
  2. Ask yourself tough questions. Morin recommends writing down your mistake and what you can learn from it, in an effort to think it through more logically.
  3. Make a plan. Don't dwell on the mistake or on the past. Instead, create a plan that will help you avoid making the mistake again.
  4. Make it harder to mess up. Sometimes willpower isn't enough to prevent similar mistakes. You might need to be creative in thinking up ways that will increase your chances of not messing up.
  5. Create a list of reasons why you don't want to make the mistake again.

"Self-discipline is like a muscle," Morin writes. "Each time you delay gratification and make a healthy choice, you grow mentally stronger."

Part of this is recognizing that all mistakes matter - no matter how big or small. Identifying and learning from bad choices will only make us stronger and better leaders.

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