How I deal with my mistakes — These 3 Supportive Ways

Image of Brian Kight
Brian Kight

This will come as no surprise: I make mistakes.

Sometimes I speak when it’s wiser to listen. I can hesitate when it’s necessary to act. I lose perspective on others because my attention is on myself.

I deal with my own mistakes in three supportive ways: 

  1. Reality: I am going to make mistakes. Period. I acknowledge this about myself, my past, and my future. This does two things for me: (1) it frees me from trying to be perfect in my actions and (2) it prevents me from getting defensive when I know I’ve made a mistake.
  2. Humility: I don’t have all the right answers. If I knew all the right things to do in every situation to always create the best results, I would do it. But I don’t. Life is messy, people are complex, and no matter how experienced or skilled I am, I’m still trying to create good results in an uncertain future, just like everyone else.
  3. Identity: I am not defined by my mistakes. The biggest reason people avoid mistakes, or avoid admitting them, is fear of how it makes them look. Yes, I’ve made mistakes. Some minor, some significant. They’re part of my story but they don’t define my identity. Because if my mistakes are part of my story, then so is how I deal with them. My identity is the whole picture, not just the imperfections.

Everything is training for something. Do the work.

PS - If these three supportive ways of dealing with mistakes work for dealing with yourself, how could they help you deal with mistakes other people make?

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