How Long Does a Mistake Hold You Down?

by JR Griggs

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Face Plant

Crap happens. And let’s be honest, most of the time that crap is your fault. It’s usually because you made a mistake somewhere along the line. Mistakes are going to happen and sometimes the crap hits the fan because of it. The question isn’t “When will you make a mistake?” It’s “How long will that mistake hold you down?” How long will you take to get up and start moving forward again?

Nothing wrong with making mistakes in life or business. But if you’re down and you stay down, you have a problem. I constantly teach that message to my kids. They will make a lot of mistakes in life but what is most important is learning how to move forward. How to turn each mistake into a lesson. Some people can’t do that, they wallow in self pity waiting for someone else to fix it or take the blame.

This week I made a pretty big mistake. A mistake that could have cost me a lot of money if I didn’t get back up and deal with it. When I discovered it I felt like I just got kicked in the gut. Not the first time that feeling has come over me. Wish I could say it is rare but it’s not. I have fallen flat on my face a ton of times. Sometimes those moments play over in my head like a comic reel.

I would also love to say that every time it happens I jump back up and get going again. (I seriously laughed out loud just now)

I am definitely better at it these days but it took lots of practice. It took a lot of those face plants to learn that the faster I got back up, the easier it was to fix the mistake. There’s always a battle inside between the side of you that wants to do nothing and the side that wants to move forward.

With this recent mistake I could almost hear the 2 sides battling on what to do. One wanted to get going and fix it, the other wanted to be angry a little longer. They compromised, I got to be angry for a little longer and then I fixed it. Soon, all was well and I was moving forward again.

Getting Back Up

So how do you get back on your feet quickly? Here are some ideas.

1. STOP – Whatever it is you’re doing just stop. Take a minute to gather your thoughts and figure things out. Don’t let panic set in.

2. Assess what you did and how you can fix it.

3. Go for a walk, run or hit the gym. Sometimes you need to blow off some steam before thinking clearly.

4. Shower. If it’s that bad, take a nice hot shower. You’ll feel better and be able to think clearer.

5. Start moving forward. Start working on ideas to clean up the mess. Sometimes you will find that the mistake was not as big as you thought now that you are thinking clearly.

What ever you do, don’t just sit there and give up. Don’t give in to it and let what happens happen. The mistake will still be there and can be worse if you ignored it.

If you’re a business owner or manager you probably have people depending on you to lead them. You need to be able to bounce back as soon as possible. The sooner you get back to work the less damage you will have to deal with.

Use every mistake and failure as a lesson. Use it to make you stronger and to safe guard against doing it again.

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