Entrepreneurs

Council Post: Eight Tips To Bounce Back After Making A Mistake At Work

For many professionals, making a mistake at work can be a big hit to their self-confidence. The scenario can weigh on your mind and cause you to feel like you’re bad at your tasks or that you’re not cut out for that particular profession. Recovering your self-confidence after a mistake takes some time, but it can be done, and the faster you do so, the more effective you’ll be in the future.

But forgiving yourself isn’t always so easy. Below, eight professionals from Young Entrepreneur Council discuss how to bounce back after a mistake and how not to be too hard on yourself going forward.

1. Learn How To Fail Forward

Every mistake is an opportunity for growth. At our company we call it “failing forward.” Making a mistake offers us the opportunity to put “controls” in place to help other employees avoid making the same mistake in the future. It’s best to host a training on the mistake and the new controls and use yourself as the example. It can be a hit to your self-esteem to make a mistake, but everyone makes mistakes and people respect honesty and vulnerability. To be a leader that employees will follow, you must demonstrate both of these qualities to your co-workers. Mistakes lead to solutions, and the most successful companies embrace the best solutions! – Bill Mulholland, ARC Relocation

2. Think About The Big Picture

We use this phrase often at our company: “This is marketing and PR, not the ER.” It doesn’t mean that we don’t take our work seriously or understand the trust our clients are putting in us to deliver for them, but it means that in the big picture nobody is going to die because you forgot to send an email or left an extra comma in an article. Keeping things in perspective helps you reflect on the mistake with less emotion, which helps you determine what went wrong and how to not make that same mistake again. – Kelsey Raymond, Influence & Co.

3. Write Down What You Learned

Recognizing mistakes is how you grow. Every time I have failed in my career, it has taught me an unforgettable lesson. As long as you aren’t making the same mistakes over and over, there is no reason to beat yourself up. Instead of spending time feeling down, I set aside time to sit down and write out what I learned due to the mistake. These learning points have saved me countless times moving forward. – Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, P.A.

4. Be Willing To Be Vulnerable

It’s okay to make mistakes, but it’s not okay to beat yourself up about them and feel guilty and shameful forever. When you admit your mistakes to your team, you humanize yourself, so people understand that you are a real person with weaknesses and not a robot. When you open up to others, instead of bottling it up like we were traditionally taught to do, people respect you more. Once you take ownership for a mistake, people feel that you are fully responsible for your actions, and trust you even more. This is counterintuitive for most people, but at the end of the day character is more important than raw skill, and business is about human interaction more than pure performance. Then, pledge to do better the next time, and people will see your true character. – Matt Wilson, Under30Experiences

5. Reflect And Take Ownership

Reflection and ownership are key. Take a few minutes to write down why it didn’t go well and what you can either do right now to fix it or what you can do next time to do it better. If other people were involved, include them in the solution. Let them know how you feel in terms of it being a mistake and how you want to ensure, with their help and partnership, that it can go better next time. Taking ownership is a big help in building back your own confidence and trust with your team. – Kerry Guard, MKG Marketing

6. Talk To Someone Who’s Been There

It helps to talk to a mentor or to a partner who has gone through what you’re going through. Their experience and real understanding of your issue can make their words more impactful. You’ll also get the benefit of learning from your own and their mistakes. Your mentor could also give you a different perspective of your mistake and help you see the positives of such events. In the end, finding the silver lining in any dark cloud is a matter of choice. With the help of mentors, friends and partners, it’s possible to see that lining clearly and faster. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

7. Don’t Push Down How You Feel

Whatever you do, avoid running away from the sense of disappointment and unhappiness. Pushing down how you feel by working harder, ignoring the issue or any other activity makes it even more difficult to get over the mistake. As uncomfortable as it is, sit down and take the time to think about your mistake. Look at what led to the mistake, the assumptions you made and the actions you should have taken later. Writing about the experience can be very cathartic. Once you’ve done the difficult task of sitting with the mistake, you’ll be able to accept everything that happened and move on from it. You can even get some powerful lessons that stand you in good stead in the future. – Blair Williams, MemberPress

8. Create Solutions To The Problem

The best thing you can do when you make a mistake at work is to find and create solutions to the problem. Depending on the situation, it might not always be possible. But most of the time, there’s something you can do to correct the issue or find an alternative way to handle it. As soon as you’re aware of the issue, try to find solutions that you can bring to the head of the company or your manager. Explain your plan and how it will resolve the problem or at least make it better. This doesn’t guarantee that your solution will be chosen, but it shows initiative on your end. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

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