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Turn Mistakes Into Professional Progress

Don’t allow the title of this article to confuse you. You don’t necessarily have to be a working professional for this topic to be relevant. Heck, it even applies to kindergarteners at some level or another. In this sense, “professional” simply alludes to bettering yourself. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a current Jones College student or a 10-year workforce veteran – read on to learn the steps necessary for transforming faults into positive advancement.

Admit Your Error: Step one may be the most difficult in the growing process. We all possess a certain level of the “I’m never wrong” mentality – how tightly you hold on to that notion is what matters. Learn to let go and acknowledge your slip-ups, no matter how significant they may be. Without self-realization, how can we expect to improve?

Own Your Actions – No Excuses: Once you’ve made it clear that you made a mistake, don’t try to justify it with lame excuses. This likely will put off those around you and leave a sour taste in their mouths. Instead, don’t be afraid to not only admit your error, but own it as well. If you have reasoning for the decision you made or the action you took, back it up. The wrongdoing wasn’t committed on purpose.

Don’t Repeat the Mistake: As the old saying goes, “Fool me once – shame on you. Fool me twice – shame on me.” Now, this isn’t EXACTLY what we’re talking about, but it’s close. All we really mean is that mistakes are okay. Everyone makes them, with no exception. Just do everything possible not to duplicate your errors. That’s where you get into hot water in school or at work. If you cause a blunder, develop a plan to avoid another recurrence. That’s how we better ourselves.

Move On: This one’s simple. It’s the natural outcome of successfully completing the first three steps. Once you realize the mistake, own it and find a way not to repeat it, move on with your day without worry. If you’ve worked through the process, you’re already better off than you were before. Others will see it and respect you for it.

Remember – mistakes are human nature, and they’re bound to occur in our academic, personal and working lives. All we can do is work to learn from them.


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