Most people don’t want to talk about their mistakes, but you’ll become more resilient and clean up the fallout faster if you accept and learn from them.
One way to accept a mistake is to think of yourself as a student. Research published in the January 2017 Annual Review of Psychology shows that students benefit when they make a mistake, receive feedback, and understand the incorrect reasoning leading up to the mistake. The research found this learning was even more effective when the student strongly believed his error was correct.
If you have a hard time coming to terms with your mistakes, here are a few ways to cope.
Accept your role in making a mistake. Don’t blame others, even if others were involved. It won’t help to point fingers, and you’ll move on faster if you admit your role in a misstep.
Alert anyone affected by your mistake. Did you miss an important deadline or make a miscalculation? Let people involved know as soon as possible instead of hiding your error. Yes, you might upset people, but it will only upset them more if you try a cover-up instead of being open and honest.
Start on a solution. The quicker you identify, accept, and admit your mistake, the sooner you can focus on a solution. When you make the solution more important than the mistake, people will turn attention to the next steps instead of what you’ve done wrong. If you can, have some ideas of how you will resolve your mistakes when you’re having your initial conversation with affected parties.