How To Learn From Your Mistakes

How To Learn From Your Mistakes

3 Tips For Turning Setbacks Into Success

Everybody loves to win, right? From elementary school soccer games to college frisbee tournaments, most people would agree that coming out on top feels great! And that feeling extends into the workplace: When you ace the job interview, land the promotion, or lock in the big sale, it can feel like you’re on top of the world! But what happens when things don’t exactly go your way?

Setbacks are a natural part of life, including in the professional world. However, making a mistake at work is a driving fear for many employees—and when they do inevitably happen, it can instill anxiety over repercussions and deal a big blow to your confidence. In reality, failure happens every day—to people at all levels of their career—and embracing the lessons from it can actually make it a productive experience, rather than a fear-inducing one!

Here are a few suggestions for turning your next setback into a success:

Stay committed to growth

It can be too easy to accept defeat when you experience disappointment—but it’s important to reframe your mindset about failure: It should be viewed as an opportunity for growth. For instance, say you get a call that the dream job you were pursuing went to a different candidate. It’s natural to feel disappointed and many candidates may take the loss personally; it may even affect their drive to find a new job or cause them to look for a different type of role. However, rethink your reaction to reap the growth benefits that such a setback can provide. Ask the recruiter or hiring manager you interviewed with, for example, what stood out about the winning candidate, and what they thought were your own strengths and areas for improvement—and then get to work becoming an even stronger candidate!

Own your mistakes

This is one of the hardest parts of not winning—but one of the most important. If you fail, make a mistake, or hit a roadblock—own it! Being truthful with yourself that you didn’t make the grade on this one occasion can be incredibly empowering, and can help you navigate that temptation to lose confidence when you have a setback. And in the workplace, acknowledging your mistakes is a signal to both supervisors and co-workers of your humility and maturity, which can take you further than any straightforward win could.

Think outside the box

Sometimes, setbacks are out of our hands—but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do. For instance, if tech difficulties sidetrack your big meeting, take time afterward to reflect on how you can be better prepared next time for the unexpected. Even if you’re at the top of your game and life throws you a curveball, you can use that opportunity to bounce back even stronger.