Tag Archives: mistakes

5 quick tips on making mistakes

Fear of making mistakes can hold you back from creating something new, taking up a challenge, or reinventing your life. 

Here are 5 quick tips on making mistakes:

1. Be willing to make mistakes. Keeping a beginner’s mind allows you to explore possibilities, hone in on what works, and eventually build your expertise. There will be discomfort, hesitation and doubt. Let go of the struggle with all of that. Learn, adapt, and most of all, make room for mistakes. A confident, victorious finish can begin with a clumpy, first step.

2. Celebrate your mistakes. Yes, you can! Instead of tightening up and holding back, open up and give it your all, at the risk of making mistakes. Smile, make amends, and move on if you step on your partner’s toes while learning to dance, hit the wrong note as you play your solo piano piece, and flub your lines during rehearsal. Mistakes are key ingredients of true success.

3. Reflect on your mistakes. Reflection doesn’t mean dwelling on and complaining about what went badly, but rather on what you learned from it. What critical piece of information did you gain? What unique insight came your way? How did the experience deepen your perspective? How will you apply the lessons next time?

4. Know that mistakes happen to the best of us.  In our culture of denial and blame, hardly anyone likes to ‘fess up about mistakes. But each and every one of us has made mistakes that caused big shifts or triggered small rifts. Even the experts aren’t immune to them.

5. Learn the difference between making a mistake and making a bad decision. Cutting yourself some slack doesn’t mean you get to put out sloppy work, blow your budget, and ignore reliable intel, and then call them “mistakes” to downplay the consequences. Cheating on your taxes, lying to your spouse, embellishing your qualifications, and backstabbing your colleague is not a mistake. It’s a choice. You got caught. Your bluff was called. Own up to it.


# # #

Photo by: Nikita Lukianets

How to be an amazing professional

Fall semester is well underway and young kids and adult learners are back in school. This is my second week of being a faculty mentor for law students, offering guidance to build their mentor relationships, cultivate their personal network and navigate professional challenges. Next Monday I will co-speak, at a coffeehouse event for law students, on ways to survive and thrive in school and beyond.

So, how exactly does a super ambitious and mega driven, yet overwhelmed and inexperienced, up-and-comer survive and thrive in the real world? Here is a reliable list to help you be an amazing professional:

1) Zero in on the stuff you love. Don’t try to do it all or be an expert in all things. It’s not wise to use your time that way. You don’t have time to do everything at the same level of quality and thoroughness. Prioritize what really matters to you and where you have the most impact.

Decide what you want to stand for and be known for. Focus on what you’re really good at and build your personal brand around it. Notice what lights your fire and do those things exceptionally well. Take ownership of projects that resonate with you, pique your curiosity, and spark you into creative action.

2) Work around the stuff you hate. Delegate or barter tasks that are wrong for you. Let go of the thing you can’t stand. Find a teammate who enjoys it and have them do it.

But if there’s no getting around it, look deeply to find something about it that you like. If you loathe the process itself, you might be fascinated by the deliverables or the clients it serves. Hone in on the good points instead of dwell on the drawbacks. Redefine the assignment to deliver the same, if not better, results in your preferred way.

3) Get used to being uncertain.  You don’t know everything. Smart colleagues and mature bosses don’t expect you to know everything. The sooner you admit you don’t know the answer, the quicker you can start figuring it out. Get help, ask questions and seek recommendations. Those who pretend they know everything suffer from blind spots and missed opportunities.

The more comfort you have with the unknown, the better you will be at acquiring new knowledge, taking worthwhile risks, overcoming hurdles, and delivering remarkable results in the face of uncertainty.

4) Learn from your mistakes. Experts, not just rookies, make mistakes. Simple, routine work can have peculiar nuances. Complex projects take you into unchartered territory. Sometimes you need to improvise to move forward. Don’t let past failures stop you from accepting challenges, trying new things, or taking critical action.

Mistakes teach you how to get things right. Mistakes are rarely permanent and can usually be fixed. Just don’t keep repeating the same mistakes, which will earn you the reputation of being a screw-up.

5) Have an awesome attitude. The way you treat your colleagues, approach your responsibilities, and show up each day affects the workplace tone.

Truly connect with others and acknowledge their contribution.  Communicate clearly, directly and consistently with your stakeholders to encourage trust and heighten visibility for you and your team.

Offer solutions and alternatives, instead of judge and complain. Create systems, processes and approaches that make work easier for everyone. Do more of the right things without being told.

An awesome attitude will help you inspire your team, build your credibility, get cool assignments, and sell your ideas.


# # #

Photo by: localjapantimes