Time For You Features

Three Ways to Embrace Mistakes as Life’s Lessons

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By Julie Fuimano, RN, BSN, MBA
Special to

There are no mistakes in life; only lessons. What this means is that whenever something happens, there is a gem for you to learn from. If you can learn to accept mistakes, shortcomings and unwanted events as opportunities for learning and personal growth, then you’ll feel less stressed and fearful. Even more, you’ll be more confident and self-assured and your life experience will be more rewarding and fun.


If you do something incorrectly or wrong, or you do something that makes you feel bad, you may get angry with yourself. Most of us have a habit of beating ourselves up mentally over and over again. It’s abusive the way we treat ourselves. The fact is that when you make a mistake, there is a lesson for you to learn. Mistakes are gifts. They offer you the opportunity to explore an area where perhaps you are deficient, need additional knowledge or training or need to reevaluate your approach. Perhaps you were rushing. Whatever the reason, if you take the time to explore what happened, you can then learn what you need to learn to correct the situation and to put systems in place so that this same mistake does not reoccur.


Some people refuse to accept that they did anything wrong. It was someone else or it was the system. This is known as a victim mentality. They rationalize, deny, make excuses, justify and blame. These people have not yet learned to accept responsibility for themselves and for their actions.


When you do something wrong or something doesn’t quite work out the way you want, there are ways of managing it so that you learn the lesson, move on from it and grow stronger in the process. By adopting the following three approaches to life, you can learn to handle yourself gracefully and deepen your relationships with yourself and with others.


One: Be open to making mistakes. Just be open to being human. Each of us will do things we regret. Each of us will take a wrong turn, hurt someone’s feelings or make bad choices. You can learn lessons from mistakes and when you do, you move on to other life’s lessons. If you don’t learn the lesson, then it will repeat itself again and again in different situations until you get it. Experience is a hard teacher. You can also learn from the mistakes of others if you are open to that learning.


Two: Be aware. In other words, look for areas of improvement. Be on the lookout for “mistakes” or ways to better yourself. Be aware of what you are doing, of how you feel and of how you make others feel. This way of thinking is about being proactive and seeking betterment to avoid making blunders and mistakes. If you are aware of how your behaviors impact others, then you can determine whether the impact you make is the way you want to present yourself to the world.


Three: Accept full responsibility for yourself and your life. Whatever happens, whenever you make a mistake or you are involved in a misunderstanding, take responsibility. There is always something to be learned or improved even if the other person was wrong too.


By being open to learning life’s lessons from every situation and by accepting complete responsibility for yourself; you empower yourself to create richer, more meaningful relationships with others and you increase the level of respect you have for yourself. You have the power to create the rich and rewarding experiences that life offers. When you are open to receive, paying attention so that you can learn the lesson and then accept responsibility for that lesson and for making it right, you put yourself in charge of your life experience and chart your course with intention and purpose.


Julie Fuimano,RN, BSN, MBA is a personal and career coach. Her passion is coaching clients to stop struggling and start enjoying their lives and careers by increasing personal effectiveness, improving communication and journeying through transitions. What’ s the challenge in your life that you’d d like to change? For your free 20-minute coaching consultation, write to her at Julie@nurturingyoursuccess.com or call her directly at (484) 530-5024.