We can all agree that being wrong is not a pleasant feeling. That’s a simple fact.
But is it really a bad feeling in itself? I disagree with those who think it is.
There isn’t a single person in the world who has never been wrong. We have all made mistakes in our life. There were big ones and small ones. The ones which we overcame easily and the ones which hurt us to our core.
However such experiences are what really help us develop our best self.
You’re not perfect
The first step to overcome failures is to accept them. As we’ve agreed already, we all do mistakes. Regularly.
Accepting their existence is crucial to move forward. As a matter of fact, refusing to accept them is what will cause a stop in your growth as a person.
If you refuse to see your mistakes, you will be stuck forever in a negative vicious circle. You will keep repeating those, not see potential opportunities related to improvement and feel worse and worse as time passes by.
Instead, accept them, observe the tiny parts which were actually positive in the experience. One which will be common to all failures will be the opportunity to learn.
Learn what was wrong
Mistakes in themselves are, indeed, bad. If you don’t analyze them.
Mistakes are made because of lacks of things. It may be a lack of knowledge, practice, skills, support, proper mindset, or many other reasons. But it is always caused by a lack of something.
Stopping for a moment to look at the experience and taking an honest look at it will allow you to notice where it all went wrong.
You need to first figure out where those errors happened so that you can assimilate them and avoid repeating the same ones in the future.
Improvement is the task of looking at small aspects which compound so you can work on each one separately, thus creating an overall better result the next time.
Yes, I know I said to stop just a few lines above. But don’t stay stuck in that analyzing period forever!
You need to move on from your errors.
If it’s something deeply ingrained in your personality, which you hold dear and wish to keep a part of your life, use the knowledge learned from that experience to try again.
If it’s something you failed at and realized the reason for said failure is a lack of connection with your long term mission, then go forward and try something which fits better.
If it’s something which you failed because of a lack of knowledge, stop trying it for a while and work on that missing knowledge.
If it’s something for which you needed a different mindset, understand which mindset you needed and do other things to make it a part of you before trying again.
If the mistake or failure was crucial to your life, I’m sorry to let you know you will fail again. And again. And again.
But it doesn’t mean you will fail forever. Learn to improve each time you fail and turn the pain into gain.
As a personal example, I have been writing an Ainu language Lesson every week for the past 14 weeks. I thought I liked it, needed it for my long term goals, and appreciated the action of helping a disappearing language stay alive in some sort.
However, while writing this week’s lesson, I realized I was making a simple error: I thought I was writing lessons but I was just translating some. I love languages but the obvious difficulty to use Ainu, combined with the fact that I want to create and not translate, made me accept to stop. I will keep on learning it and may write lessons again. But not until those will be creations from my part.
“Quitting” after 3 months of writing those is a difficult decision. But it will allow me to focus on other aspects I wish to improve on. It is a setback right now for a push forward later. It is a failure. But I am glad I made it.
You learn with your mistakes, so analyze why and then make some more. You will feel bad only as long as you don’t accept them and move forward.