“I never make the same mistake twice, I make it five or six times just to be sure!” – Anonymous
You may not consider yourself a true-blooded perfectionist. You may consider yourself a bit more like me, a closet perfectionist. We preach that making mistakes is a way to learn and grow, and yet we’re still pretty hard on ourselves when the mistakes actually happen.
Some people live their lives working very hard to avoid mistakes of any kind. From my perspective this sounds pretty exhausting. What I teach in my programs and the philosophy I apply to my life is, rather than avoid making mistakes, focus on recovering well. Developing this skill brings discomfort and, eventually, a greater sense of freedom.
“You are not measured by your mistakes; you are measured by your recovery from your mistakes!” – Pat Kirkland
- Ignore the mistake or mildly acknowledge the incident
- Keep a cheerful or upbeat attitude. Consider using good-natured humour about it.
- If you feel a need to acknowledge your mistake, this will show you’re accountable and not infallible. When you admit a mistake, avoid saying “I’m sorry” or over-apologising (see Newsletter 7 for alternative responses).
- Keep eye contact, voice strong with upbeat energy, large firm gestures.
- It’s not the end of the world.