“The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything”

~Theodore Roosevelt

Everybody makes mistakes, some time or the other. They are a natural step in our journey through the ups and downs of life. There is nothing wrong in making mistakes. The mistake is when we do not learn from them.

We can gain something from every mistake we make, because each mistake can tell us where we have gone wrong and we can then figure out how to avoid the same mistake in future. We need to be smart and know how to turn every mistake into a stepping stone to success.

From the past to the future

It does not help to bury our head in the sand and refuse to acknowledge or admit our mistakes. We need to take them on face to face and move from the past to the future. Do not carry the burden of your past mistakes into the present or the future. Do not torture yourself with guilt over what has happened because it cannot be undone. The smart thing to do is to get over the self-reproach and think of what you need to do going forward.

Mistakes do not stay hidden. Even if we manage to conceal our mistakes from others we cannot fool ourselves into believing that they did not happen. And some time or the other our guilty conscience catches up with us and we end up divulging what we have done, in some way or the other – it could be through our actions or through something we inadvertently blurt out.

Human beings are not very good at keeping “secrets” – so we cannot keep the news about our mistakes to ourselves. We share it and even if it is with one person, the word spreads and we lose the respect and trust of people around us.

Admit to ourselves and to others

The wise thing to do is to accept our mistakes – admit to ourselves and to others that we have committed a mistake. It is not a crime to make mistakes but it can be harmful even criminal at times, if we withhold the fact that we have done wrong. The idea of failing can be scary but we need to be courageous enough to own up to it. As children we are taught that mistakes are bad and we need to hide them. But that is a wrong notion. It stunts us in our growth and in our thinking. It does not let us take responsibility for our actions. We need to be accountable for all our deeds – good and bad.

It is a waste of energy to indulge in self-pity or make excuses or complain about the mistakes we make. There is no benefit either in blaming ourselves or others. Treat mistakes as a chance to identify new paths, explore new ways of handling things.

Opportunity to learn

Mistakes are a positive force in our lives if only we realize it. They give us an opportunity to learn, to grow and to improve. And in doing so, they strengthen our character, enhance our knowledge, develop our abilities and open our mind. They build experience and give us wisdom. Mistakes are the signs of progress on your journey to your goals so welcome them and carry on with life