Make The Best Of Your Mistakes

Make The Best Of Your Mistakes

I’m sure, like me, you’ve made your share of mistakes over the years. Times you’ve made a bad decision or taken too long to make any at all!

The word mistake comes from the Latin to “miss-step.” Mistakes are, literally, nothing more or less than a step (or two) in the wrong direction.

Yet however large or small your ‘miss step’, as Kathy Calvin, President of the UN Foundation shared with me recently in this video, “Your mistakes are only as bad as what you do afterward to fix them and learn from them.”

Failing to own your mistakes and trying to hide them may seem like a good solution in the heat of the moment, but in the long run, it only makes them bigger.

From Wells Fargo’s latest implosion to the US Presidential campaign, you don’t have to look too far to find some great examples.

As painful as it can be to acknowledge that you’ve messed up, it is always the best option.

So you got it wrong. Maybe you made a wrong judgement call. Maybe you treated someone poorly. Maybe you failed to keep a promise or didn’t tell the truth (well not all of it.)

You are human. Pride got the better of you. Overwhelm got the better of you. Fear got the better of you.

Own it. Say you’re sorry. Seek to fix it up. Offer to make amends. Fall on your sword. Ask for forgiveness.

Do whatever you can to shore up the fall out of your lapse in judgement or character.

Just don’t pretend it’s fine when its not or hope it will all go away or go and hide in a cupboard.

Most people are pretty good at forgiving people who have the courage and humility to admit when they’ve messed up. What most of us aren’t so good at is forgiving someone when we sense that they are only sorry because they got caught.

Again, the headlines provide some great examples.

If this note has struck a chord with you because you haven’t cleaned up after a mis-step you made, then I hope it will be the inspiration you need to do so.


Because the longer you wait to own what you got wrong, the harder it gets to rectify it.

Mistakes don’t have to spell the end of the line. In fact, they can often open the door to a whole new pathway.

If you handle them well.