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So you made a mistake?

I’m really pleased to hear it, well done.  Wait – you say that you tried something and it didn’t work?  Or that you tried something and got a totally different result than you were looking for?  Or you got something wrong?  Maybe you forgot to email a customer something that they asked for?  Or you hired someone who turned out to be the wrong person for your team, maybe you took on a customer that you knew wasn’t right because you needed the money and now you regret it.

Like I said – well done.

My reaction to anyone that makes a mistake is exactly the same – you’re out there and you’re trying and you’re making a difference in the world – keep going.

The only way you make a mistake is if you’re doing something.  If you’re taking action you will not always get it right.  Sometimes things will go wrong.  Sometimes you’ll make a mistake, and sometimes other people will make a mistake.

This is a fact of life and if you are constantly worried about making mistakes then you are going to miss out on all the good stuff that you could have achieved along the way.

I agree that repeatedly making the same mistakes is not the right way to do anything.  If you are always late for meetings, forget to send emails, hire the wrong people then you need to stop and take a good look at your processes that have led you here and work out what you can do differently.  Making a mistake once or maybe twice is OK but if you are making the same mistakes over and over again then you need to take responsibility for this and change.

Mistakes are there to teach you valuable lessons, there is so much to be learned from making them.  Nobody successful is perfect.

Have a think about some of your biggest heroes, people you really look up to either in the world of business, sport, movies etc.  Then google them and find out all the mistakes they have made, all the bad things that they have done and all of the things they have failed at.

Did that make you feel better?  I hope it did.

Because I always think that your underlying worry about making mistakes is more interesting than anything – why are you so afraid of being wrong?  It all comes back to a fear of failure I always think, if you are afraid to fail then you will be afraid to take risks, to get started and to take action.

All of these will seriously limit your ability to be successful in your business, your job and your relationships.  Nobody got anywhere by not taking any risks.

As members of society, as parents, as business owners friends and partners – we need to stop being afraid of making mistakes and teach our children and those around us that its OK to be wrong.  Nobody can be right all the time and we should stop trying.

So I say celebrate those mistakes, because without them you wouldn’t have the good things in life.  Embrace your failures and enjoy your successes

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