Learning from mistakes

The tricky part about trying to learn from mistakes is to overly focus on the mistakes rather than the lessons that are being taught by the mistakes. The lessons are often things you discover upon making the mistake; they represent new knowledge or information that you previously weren’t aware of. Yet we rarely dwell on those; because we’ve been told that finding those ‘reasons’ are actually just finding ‘excuses’.

A few good questions to tease out the lessons to learn would be:

  • What is something I did not know that I now know, having made the mistake?
  • What new relationship between variables did I discover upon making the mistake?
  • What are some patterns that should raise red flags for me in future?
  • What are false red flags created by this mistake that may cause me to be overly worried or cautions about actions in future? How do I tell?

Moving past blame and finding fault after discovering a mistake is not easy, but it starts with a mindset that is focused on learning, and moving forward. To release oneself from the emotional downward spirals, diving deeper into some of these questions is useful.