Yes, we do say mistakes teach you a lot and you shouldn’t be afraid of making mistakes. But we should also understand mistakes better and try not to make them intentionally. The learning happens from mistakes that happen by chance.
Mistakes do come with a heavy price – they shake our self confidence, cause problems in relationships, lead to losses, and sometimes loss of face. But there is a way to recover from mistakes and learn from them, and it starts with first admitting the mistake.
It’s important also to understand the difference between a mistake and a bad decision. A bad decision is invariably a call that you take intentionally knowing that it may not work. Mistakes happen unintentionally. If you read a map wrong and reach late, that’s a mistake, but if you decide to experiment with a new road knowing well that you may get late…that is a bad decision.
Every mistake should lead you to problem solving. Step back, accept the mistake, and then think about where and what you did and what and when would you do something different so it doesn’t happen again. This is when the mistake becomes a learning for you. Don’t forget to genuinely extend sincere apologies to people for whom you may have caused a problem.
In life or in a design process this can lift a lot of the weight for you.
Sudhir Sharma, Editor-in-Chief