Mistakes, Mea Culpas and Moving On

Share

shutterstock_170887094No matter how pure your motives you will make mistakes.

Truth Test: Raise your hand if you have never made a mistake.

If true, you probably aren’t trying hard enough.

Anyone who has never made a mistake
has never tried anything new
.”
~ Albert Einstein

Mistakes Happen

We need to deal with them and move on. Some mistakes are much harder to deal with and to make amends. However, as the title of this post says … do your Mea Culpa and Move On. For those that may have never heard the phrase mea culpa it means “I’m to blame.”

Mea Culpa –  a Latin phrase that means “through my fault” and is an acknowledgement of having done wrong.

My simple thinking is to Own ‘em. Marinate in them. And move on. What I mean by this is that you absolutely should own your mistakes. Blaming others is not a good habit and will ultimately backfire. People that stand out in their careers make mistakes. People that stand out in their careers own their mistakes. People that stand out in their careers learn from their mistakes.

Mistakes are the portals of discovery”
~ James Joyce

Don’t Dwell

Another important point about mistakes is dwelling on them. The simple answer is … Don’t! Dwelling on them doesn’t help. When you make a mistake. You own up to it. You make your apologies. And, you move on. Having your boss, your peers or others constantly bring it up is not helpful. Perhaps they don’t realize that you beat yourself up for it already. Or, perhaps they want to keep bringing it up to lord over you.

Note to “Dwellers” — just stop. You aren’t helping. In fact you might be hurting the situation.

  • For example, if the first thing someone brings up is “your mistake” it won’t long before you avoid them.
  • If this person happens to be your boss they might be making themselves feel superior, but they will be losing your trust and respect.
  • Pro Tip for Managers: Help your team own their mistakes. Allow them to issue their mea cupla. And, move on.

Mistakes Happen

We live, we learn, we try things, we make mistakes … repeat. Just make sure you learn from your mistakes. Document what happened. Yes, take the time to write it down and think them through. Depending upon the situation ask your peers and perhaps even your manager to document the mistake and the learning’s. As mentioned above this may decrease the “dwell factor” and allow everyone to accept the mistake and move on.

“Don’t confuse poor decision-making with destiny. Own your mistakes. It’s ok; we all make them. Learn from them so they can empower you!
~Steve Maraboli

While it may not be pleasant to own our mistakes it is the sign of an evolved person. The people that can learn from their mistakes are often rewarded with promotions, projects and professional accolades. Try things. When they don’t go as planned issue your mea culpa. Marinate in the situation for as long as you need to. Make adjustments. Document what went wrong. Pro-Tip: Document what went well too. And, finally … Move on!

May your next mistake be minor and one you can quickly embrace and move on to your next one. Just remember … Mistakes Happen. They aren’t then end of your career and in most cases you’ll learn a lot about yourself, your team and your problem solving abilities.


Personal Branding Blog – Stand Out In Your Career

Share