Learn How to Respond to Your Mistakes

We can’t get it right every time. We are bound to mess up something at work, whether its forgetting a meeting, an email, an important phone call—we are only human. What’s important is how we respond to our mistakes. Every bad experience can always have a positive outcome if we allow ourselves to learn from these experiences instead of letting ourselves fall apart. Your apparent failures are only failures if you don’t allow yourself to grow from them.

Here are two ways to help you get a leg up on your mistakes.

Take responsibility of your actions.

After a few minutes of panicking and self-destructing, it’s easy to slip into a downward spiral when we mess up. Many times, we want to simply push our problems aside, but the best way to get past something, is to face it head-on. Whatever your mistake may be, address it, and own up to it.

Taking responsibility for your mistakes is half the battle you’ll face on your way to making amends with the issue at hand. This can seem like a fairly obvious statement, but understanding responsibility, and actually applying the act of being responsible are two different things. By owning up to whatever mishap is shaking things up at work, you are giving yourself an opportunity to showcase positive character traits in the midst of a negative situation.


Remember the true definition of failure.

The word failure tends to hold a more negative connotation then the actual definition. Mainly because of how we often use it in daily conversation when referring to something bad that’s happened. When it comes down to it, failure just means; things simply didn’t work out the way you expected, or as well as you wanted. Which sounds way better than the doom that’s implied when we often use the word failureessentially driving us into that aforementioned downward spiral. Next time things don’t go the way you planned, remind yourself of the true definition of failure. Ask yourself a few questions such as what you can do better, what you can take away from the experience, and how you can prevent the same situation from happening in the future.


The takeaway.

It’s easy to get discouraged and accept what may feel like your “fate,” but you are fully capable of taking control of what will follow. While you may be faced with something you didn’t plan for, how you respond to that situation can determine whether you let one mistake consume you, or be the reason you grow and be a better person because of it.

Sometimes the best experiences in life come from the moments we believe are our failures because it forces us to handle problems we are uncomfortable with. Only once we take control of our mistakes and stop looking at them as a glass half empty situation do we persevere.


While the negative unexpected moments are bound to happen, persevere, so the positive unexpected experiences follow.

Written by Megan McCarthy

Client experience guru who's obsessed with building client relationships.