How To Learn From Your Mistakes

How To Learn From Your Mistakes

​As human beings we find comfort in basking in our successes. We are trained from childhood to embrace success and celebrate with others all the positives in life and sometimes this can help to create a blueprint or template that we can emulate in the future.

To really learn from our experiences we also need to balance what we learn from our failures and this is the tricky part.

As soon as we focus on our failures then our ego steps in and tries to justify or make excuses for what went wrong. We apportion blame to others, we look for external factors that we didn’t believe we could control and we often fail to embrace the root cause of the failure.

If you can identify with this then you are not alone. There are very few people who are able to completely put aside their ego and take on the chin the reasons for their failure. But if we can… If we open up with a passionate desire to learn what really happened and the reasons behind it then we have an opportunity to learn some amazing lessons.

1. Accept that failure happens in life and you are more likely on balance to experience more successes than failures. Take full responsibility for the failed outcome and say to yourself “I was part or all of the reason that this didn’t work out”

2. Break down the situation or project into seven stages, maybe by time or by subject

3. Identify one positive success in each of the seven stages, no matter how small that might be

4. Be honest with yourself and identify the most significant reason for failure or negative thing in each of the seven stages and write them down

5. Take your list of seven failures or negative things and put them into a prioritised list with the most significant reason at the top and the least significant at the bottom. Move the seven items around until you are totally comfortable that the item at the top of the list is the most significant reason why your situation or project failed

6. Read your most significant reason seven times out loud until you have fully understood why it is so important to the outcome of your project or situation.

7. Now write seven things you will do differently and positively next time the project or situation arises that will directly address and resolve this one most significant reason.

Some things in life fail for a reason. The trick is to find the most significant reason in any failure and then focus on that one thing the next time to ensure you have learned and don’t repeat it again. You cannot change the world, but you can learn one positive thing at a time. And when you have mastered learning from your failures try to identify mini-failures in each of your successes and then you will be on the road to the place they call Continuous Improvement.

How do you currently learn from your failures?