How to learn from our mistakes

Learning from our mistakes isn’t as easy as we think. If it were, we would never make any mistakes.

So how do we learn from our mistakes?

For us to learn from our mistakes, we must first admit we’ve made a mistake. Easy to say, not so easy to do.  As soon as we begin to accept that we made a mistake, the learning process can begin.

When we blame others, we automatically distance ourselves from any possible lesson or responsibility. Although mistakes are inevitable, I believe we can learn from our mistakes to avoid possible future mistakes.

I also believe that when we spend too much time obsessing over past mistakes, we will inevitably go on to make new ones.

We should:

  • Always accept responsibility and own any mistakes we make. That way we’re more likely to work out how to avoid new ones;
  • Try and understand why and what factors were involved in the decision process;
  • Make sure you have all the facts in front of you;
  • Follow your own gut feeling on any decisions you make and don’t question yourself. When others make your decisions for you, any decision made that isn’t your own will turn out to be a mistake;
  • Try and change any patterns that contribute to mistakes being made.

I believe that all mistakes are lessons in disguise, but we must put in the necessary work to learn from them.


11 Nov, 2011

6 thoughts on “How to learn from our mistakes

  1. Good points; especially the one about others intervening. I think we should listen to our own feelings on certain issues and only intervene when asked.

    1. I totally agree Lisa. We get ourselves into so much more trouble when we take advice from others, which isn’t what we would want for ourselves. That’s when we’re more likely to make mistakes.

  2. Mistakes serve no purpose if we don’t learn from them. Learn, move on and don’t repeat the mistake twice.

    I remember telling this to a work colleague a while ago who had got himself into financial difficulties because of his lies and I felt like I was a parent lecturing a child at the time.

    He understood exactly what I was saying and i learned only yesterday that he is now in a bigger financial mess than before. So much for learning.

    1. I think your response is slightly different. We spiral into these kind of patterns because we run from the truth.

      Your colleague’s mistake is not admitting he has a problem and continuing to run with it.

  3. Some very good points here. I believe sometimes self worth factors come into play in us making mistakes, in my own case any way.

    Learning from mistakes is not always easy, but it can be done. It all takes effort.

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