The fear of making mistakes doesn’t prevent mistakes; it destroys progress and growth. John Wooden said, “I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.”
Too many mistakes, and you lose credibility. Too few mistakes, and you’re dead in the water; you can’t lead.
5 Ways to Be Good at Making Mistakes
1. Don’t make the mistake of letting your mistakes defeat you. Maintain momentum and enthusiasm, even when you fail. Churchill wisely said, “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”
2. Don’t pretend you know when you don’t. Rather than pretending, proclaim your ignorance. Say things like, “I’ve never led a marketing team before, but I’m up for the challenge.” Making mistakes is easier if others know you don’t know.
3. Celebrate your successes and your mistakes. Celebrating mistakes freaks people out, and that’s always fun. In addition, stories of your mistakes can be humorous, endearing, and most importantly, educational. Finally, explaining a good screw-up before sharing a success prevents you from looking arrogant.
4. It’s a mistake to run from mistakes. After owning a mistake, begin the next sentence with, “Next time, I will … ” Eli Siegel observed, “If a mistake is not a stepping stone, it is a mistake.”
5. Please don’t be a whining, cry baby. You look weak when you make excuses. It’s better to “ … admit your errors before someone else exaggerates them,” says Andrew V. Mason.
Everyone wonders, “What if I make a mistake?” The better question is, “What if you don’t?”
What suggestions do you have for people who are paralyzed by the fear of making mistakes?