We’ve all been there. That stomach dropping feeling that blooms through your body the moment you realised you’ve really f****d up.
I’ve done it plenty of times and I’ve seen others take tumbles, too.
What I have learned is that it’s not so much the mistake that is the mark of the man/woman – it’s the ways in which they react and respond to that mistake that is most illuminating.
Here are my top 7 tips for handling a f*ck up with true grace.
- Own it
Young children are very good at deflecting blame to someone else (“Dolly did it!”). Intelligent adults acknowledge and own their actions.
- Fix it
In telling whomever needs to know about whatever it is you’ve done, bring a solution.
Say sorry to whomever is feeling the impacts of your mistake.
James Joyce described mistakes as “portals of discovery”. What can your error help you to discover about yourself or the ways in which you do things?
- Keep it in perspective
Most people over-react when they make a blunder. Is it really such a huge disaster? Will anyone remember it in a year’s time?
- Get back in the ring
It’s important to recover your confidence as quickly as you can. So recover your poise, get back in there and focus on the future, rather than mulling over what has happened.
- Make failure your friend
Failure is an inevitable consequence (and essential requisite) of innovation, growth and change. And that’s OK.
Anyone who has worked for more than one day will have made a mistake at some point.
Instead of viewing it as a terrible blemish on your soul, try to view your mistake as proof that you are growing and evolving as a person.