How to Recover from Mistakes

We all make mistakes. Whether we want to say it or not, it’s true. We overestimate time or our capabilities. We misread situations or misinterpret others. It just happens. Sometimes, it is because we lack understanding, and other times, it is due to flawed judgment. I personally believe that making mistakes gives us some of our greatest learning experiences. You pick yourself back up, develop your understanding, and use the lessons learned to inform future decision-making.

One aspect that important when I think about recovering from mistakes is getting back on track. Whether you are dealing with an illness or death or figuring out what to do after a job loss or financial setback, staying focused is one aspect that is critical to overcoming the mistake and moving forward. Other aspects can help as well but being resilient and staying focused on your goals help you tremendously as you navigate through unplanned change.

It can be tempting to rush back into your prior plans without appreciating the power of the mistake you’ve made. The downside of this line of thinking is that you miss out on the value of the experience. When you take time to appreciate the lesson learned you can apply this in the future.

Focus is the Key

Staying focused is a choice. Every time you make a mistake, you have the choice to spend precious time feeling bad or embarrassed about your decisions, or you can adjust your attitude and move on.

It’s okay to feel how you feel. What matters is that you continue to take action to improve your situation. Do you let setbacks overpower you? Or do you gather yourself and regain momentum by acting?

Here are three practical strategies you can use to help you recover from mistakes and move forward.

  1. Keep everything in perspective. It’s easy to become overly concerned if you’ve made a mistake. Acknowledge the mistake and do what you need to do to fix it. Don’t give it anymore time than it deserves.

  2. Remember your goals. Write down your goals and keep them where you will see them often. Review them after you make mistakes and remind yourself of the bigger picture and your plans for achieving them. Then, begin again and take action to make more progress. The sooner you take action, the sooner you’ll recover from the setback.   

  3. Ask for help if you need it. We all need help at one time or another. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it. And don’t feel bad if your request for help is denied, ask someone else and keep asking until you secure the support you need.

The more mistakes you make, the more resilient you will become. You are capable of more than you can imagine. One of my favorite quotes from Bob Marley offers inspiration, “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only option you have.”