As Albert Einstein once said, “a person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” This adage is certainly true, especially in business, but taking it to heart can be far easier said than done, especially in a society where we are taught from childhood that failure and shame are deeply and inextricably intertwined.
The fact of the matter is, if you really want to achieve entrepreneurial success, you absolutely must teach yourself to view your mistakes as opportunities for growth, and nothing more. Here are 3 meaningful steps you can take to reframe the way you think about failure so that you can achieve greater success throughout your career.
- Realize that every mistake is a lesson in disguise. Instead of viewing the errors you make as being indicative of ineptitude, weakness, or a character flaw, take the time to remind yourself that there is intrinsic educational value to each and every mistake you make. Simply put, you must make mistakes if you truly want to learn what works and what doesn’t, both in business and in life. Long-term success requires you to take risks; even if a risk does not pay off, you’ll still end up learning from the experience.
- Start taking ownership of your mistakes. While your instinctive response to making a mistake may be to distance yourself from it or explain it away, this behavior is extremely counterproductive when it comes to professional growth. Instead, make a point of owning your mistakes by taking accountability and responsibility for the decisions you make and the actions you take. By admitting your errors in a frank and pragmatic way to yourself and to your colleagues, you will learn how to view your own behavior through an analytical lens, instead of an emotional one, and this will be tremendous boon to your entrepreneurial success in the long run.
- Don’t let your pride get in the way. It’s important to have a healthy sense of pride, but be careful not to let your pride prevent you from asking for assistance or advice when you need it. Being able to admit when you need help correcting a mistake you’ve made is a skill that will serve you well in all your interpersonal relationships, and as the saying goes, two heads are always better than one.
If you are hoping to learn how to make peace with making mistakes, I suggest using these 3 pieces of advice as your professional mantras for the next week – and if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.