Everyone makes mistakes and poor choices. Absolutely everybody. You’re lying if you say you’ve never made a mistake. Making mistakes are an essential part of life and I think a key factor to success in your personal and professional life. Sometimes failure will happen because of your own mistakes, sometimes because of others. Regardless of the reason why something failed, it’s important that you own the problem and acknowledge your role in it. You must take ownership of your mistakes before you can learn anything from them.
When I was younger, I smashed one of the ears off my mum’s favourite cat ornament. The one she constantly told me not to play with. I denied damaging it and tried to blame my sister. If I’d been honest and upfront from the beginning and perhaps offered my pocket money to repair it, the repercussions would have been less. Instead, I got into far more trouble for lying. A very simple example, but one that taught me a lesson at a young age.
Why is it important to own your mistakes?
1. It allows you to be the best version of you. If you’re an idiot and don’t admit that you did something wrong, then you’re never going to take any steps to fix things. You will go through life with the same attitude that led you to making the mistake in the first place. Harsh, but true.
2. Stops little problems from turning into big ones. Being accountable shows you’re responsible. Owning up to a problem immediately, quite often solves it. Not owning up to a mistake can be like a snowball gathering speed down a hill, turning into a bigger problem that’s going to be more difficult to solve.
3. It earns you respect. Being honest and upfront from the outset shows you have integrity. It’s easy to sit quietly and hope no-one notices a mistake. Be proactive about the issue, claim your mistake and come up with a solution to make it right. There may still be consequences but people will appreciate your honesty. It will build your reputation and more than likely endear you to others.
4. Allows you to learn from your mistakes. If you don’t acknowledge your mistakes, you will never ever learn from them. If you don’t learn from your mistakes, you will more than likely repeat them, again and again. Do you see where I am going with this……
5. It makes you approachable. You might think you’re perfect but I can guarantee you aren’t – Nobody is! If you’re honest about your flaws instead of making excuses, people will find it easier to confide in you or get close to you.
Do accept responsibility for your mistakes and show that you have learnt from them.
Don’t be defensive or blame others.
Make the Change.