Mistakes are part of life, no one is completely safe from them. In fact, they play a fundamental role when it comes to human personal growth.
If it were not for the mistakes we sometimes make, we would not be able to learn from them in order to correct them later.
In this article we will see a list of tips on how to learn from mistakes. Let’s start with the fundamentals.
- Related article: “Personal Development: 5 reasons for self-reflection
What exactly are errors?
The term error refers to the action of having done something improperly, or some reckless action that generates uncomfortable moments.
The errors have in common that They are accidental, involuntary; That is to say, a mistake could never be made voluntarily, that would turn out to be a paradox.
The other common aspect of errors, and the most important, is that behind each of them hides the opportunity to achieve valuable learningBy internalizing why we made a mistake, we can grow as people and nourish ourselves from the mistake so as not to make it again in the future.
Tips on how to learn from mistakes
Now we will review some efficient ways to learn from mistakes, properly internalizing the experiences.
1. Change your perception of errors
Once you start seeing mistakes as opportunities and not failures, you will be able to learn from them in the best possible way. Sometimes a change of perspective is enough to significantly improve your quality of life.
In this sense, the most useful thing is to aim to draw a lesson about what we can do in the future so that things go better for us in situations similar to those that have happened to us and in which we have made a mistake.
2. Keep an emotions diary
To learn from your mistakes it is necessary to become aware of how we react emotionally to them.. To achieve this, it is very useful to keep an emotions diary.
It is a small notebook in which you can write down in real time how you feel and what you think in the moments in which you experience emotions in a more intense way. In this way you will learn the generalities that occur in the way you express those feelings and emotional states.
3. Don’t let anxiety win
Anxiety is reflected in the fear that we can have in the face of mistakesthat is, when before starting to carry out an activity, fear paralyzes us and prevents us from doing it.
To avoid this, the ideal is to understand that things do not necessarily have to go wrong just because we think they will. Thoughts do not always determine actions.
Remember that feeling fear is natural, do not allow it to paralyze you, trust in your abilities and carry out the activities as you know how to do them, even if it is not free of imperfections.
- You may be interested: “Types of Anxiety Disorders and their characteristics”
4. Regulate the level of self-demand
This point refers to the fact that sometimes Being too perfectionistic can lead us to a distorted view of our propensity to do things wrong.and does not allow us to learn from our mistakes.
When we have an attitude of extreme perfectionism, we do not tolerate mistakes, and as a consequence of this behavior we avoid thinking about these activities.
This is one of the tips to learn from the most complex mistakes, since it is not always easy to stop feeling discomfort at the idea of creating something with certain defects.
5. Use new learning
Using the knowledge we have acquired from our past mistakes is a way to learn how we can improve, and we could continue learning. It’s like a ladder, as we climb one step we must gradually climb the others, learning something new every time we take a step.
6. Focus on the present
One of the main limitations of learning is staying anchored to the past. We must change the classic thinking that if we made mistakes in the past, we will do it again in the present..
That thinking must be replaced with a more adaptive one. For example, the ideal is to think that if we did not do well in the past, we will do better this time, with the new learning we have acquired.
7. Avoid acting hastily
Acting hastily can lead us to make mistakes, and apart from that, it makes the process of learning from said error difficult, taking into account that when we act in this way We do not have time to adequately evaluate the reasons that led us to make the mistake..
8. Be self-critical
Healthy self-criticism is essential to learn from our mistakes. When we use self-criticism, we are in some way making an objective evaluation of our own person; of our virtues and also of our points to correct.
9. Take opinions into account
Sometimes, from other people’s perspective we can better understand What are the aspects to improve in ourselves?. The opinions of others help us evaluate ourselves.
These opinions serve as a point of comparison between what we think and what others think about our experience. The ideal is to be tolerant and know how to accept that the ideas that others have about what we do do not always have to be positive. In this way we can obtain a more complete learning regarding our past mistakes.
- Ayduk, O.; Gyurak, A.; Luerssen, A. (2009). Rejection sensitivity moderates the impact of rejection on self-concept clarity. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 35 (11): 1467 – 1478.
- Farnham-Diggory, S. (2004) Learning Difficulties. Madrid. Morata Editions.
- Ross, M.; Wilson, A. E. (2002). It feels like yesterday: self-esteem, valence of personal past experiences, and judgments of subjective distance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 82 (5): 792 – 803.