The Pleasure of Making Mistakes
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 4:16PM
Judy Schmidt, Executive Coach

I want you to know how normal and how important it is to make mistakes.  There is no such thing as a life without mistakes, and if you value growth and accomplishments or achievements of any kind, you must get friendly with them. 

Your perspective about what to do with mistakes matters.

Some mistakes have bigger consequences than others, but for so many people, the fear of making even a small mistake, keeps them from doing what they really want to do.  It keeps them from a significant accomplishment, or stands in the way of trying something different or paralyzes them and keeps them stuck.

What difference would it make if you developed a sense of humour when it comes to mistakes?  What would it be like to laugh in the face of one?  What would the impact be? 

What if you thought of a mistake as only the first step?  What would your second step be?  Third?

Think about how you have reacted when others have made mistakes.  What did you communicate? What was the impact on them? What was the overall outcome?  What changed as a result of your reaction?

Usually when we witness a mistake, or are part of one, we are so horrified that we lose all creativity and perspective, and go into hiding or fight back. (remember the flight or fight theory?) I'm proposing a third way.  A perspective that faces into the mistake and all its consequences, owns it fully, and then asks the powerful questions that will help put the focus on the future and the growth that will come as a result.

Here's some questions that will help inspire your perspective about handling mistakes:

What good mistakes have you made this past year?What did you learn about yourself in the process?

What has become clear to you as a result of this mistake?

What would you do differently?

What good can come of this?

What is the opportunity here?

What now? What's the next step?

"Life's ups and downs provide windows of opportunity to determine your values and goals. Think of using all obstacles as stepping stones to build the life you want."  

Marsha Sinetar

Article originally appeared on Judy Schmidt - Executive Coach (
See website for complete article licensing information.