Learning from our mistakes

I believe learning from our mistakes is pivotal to our success and that without our mistakes we cannot emotionally or spiritually grow, or understand what it is to succeed.

I also believe that when anyone gives us feedback, we can learn from that feedback. Feedback shouldn’t be seen as we’ve failed. It should be used as an opportunity to find ways to change what’s clearly not working for us.

Mistakes are simply a benchmark for further investigation. Not succeeding doesn’t mean we haven’t been successful. It means we need to look at a different approach. Working through any challenge is success, because each challenge brings us to a different place.

It’s how we choose to look at things. Not walking away with first prize doesn’t mean we’ve failed. Finishing the challenge is success in itself. We can learn more from our mistakes than from our success stories.

If we achieve success, we never stop to question it, we just take it for granted and that chapter gets closed. It’s wrong to think that because we have success in one area of our life that other areas will be just as successful.

We learn and will grow to be more successful when we work through the basics of how we got there. We need to experiment, to take risks and try out new things. We need to hear constructive criticism so that we can be instrumental in our potential success further down the line.

Many of us continue to see feedback solely as criticism, but those two issues must be separated. Feedback allows us to go and think about what we’re doing, so that we can change the outcome and find success second time around.

13 May, 2011

6 thoughts on “Learning from our mistakes

  1. I agree. I think some of us learn from our mistakes the first time and others learn after a few times.

    Just because we don’t come in first doesn’t mean we have failed just as you’ve said. We have to give perfection plenty of time if that’s what we’re going after; but life isn’t going to be perfect and some of us can’t get that in our heads. I’ve learned that myself.

    I use to think everything had to be perfect. But after my last marriage, I learned my house isn’t going to be spotless. I used to be very anal! now I accept not being perfect… and now my daughter struggles with perfection just as I did and she knows it.

    She learned it from me and I’m so sorry she did because it’s miserable for her and causes her much stress when things aren’t perfect.

    1. You are right, some of us learn from our mistakes after the first time, others learn after a few times and some people probably don’t learn at all.

      I think it’s nice to be successful, but not a priority. For me it would be more important to be happy and have peace in my life, than strive for success and have nothing beyond it.

  2. Learning from our mistakes is important so that we do not repeat them again. I agree with what you have said in this blog.

    If we never make mistakes we would never grow as people. I have always had a big problem with criticism, how it is presented to me. I guess I am just too sensitive. I tend to get defensive. Natural reaction I think.

    1. You are absolutely right Randy.

      It is a natural reaction to react when we think someone is being critical over something we say or do, but I am sure the majority of what people do say is done in good faith.

      We just have to remember that when we feel compelled to react!

  3. This is very true. In any aspect of life we can learn from our mistakes. I think what separates happy and successful people from the rest is they’ve learned from their mistakes and adapted to the situation. But others never learn and just keep making the same mistakes.

    You’re right that if we never try something or experiment, we will never know what we are capable of. If you take inventions for example, no invention is perfect the first time, as years go on many inventions are made better and we as humans learn from making inventions better.

    If we just keep making the same invention over and over we can’t learn what the invention is fully capable of by changing it for the better.

    1. Ditto, I agree with you completely. I like the example you’ve used. Many technological advances have come about through what might seem at first sight to be a failure or mistake.

      Without experimenting, recognising and working through some of our mistakes, we will never know or experience our true capabilities. Welcome aboard and thanks for posting.

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