Last week, just as I published a post, I noticed a missing letter in the title.
You know those moments where time seems to slow down and you want to stop your finger from clicking the mouse but it’s just…too…late?! It was like that. Whoops!
A year or two ago, it would have ruined my entire day (or at least the next hour) as I beat myself up. I can hear myself now. A copy editor who can’t even catch a missing letter in her own dang post? Who’s ever going to trust me?
Well, me for starters. One mistake doesn’t warrant a complete lack of trust from myself or anyone else!
I realized in that moment that I’ve truly learned that even experts make mistakes.
(And I learned that I think of myself as an expert.)
I know we’ve all heard that it’s not the mistake that counts but how you handle it, and I’ve always believed that, but guys, last week I lived it. And that felt good.
I know you’ve probably read tons of advice about what to do when you make a mistake, but I believe hearing it one more time can’t hurt.
So here's what you can do:
Things happen! My yoga instructors often tell us to smile just as we're doing something difficult. It helps release the tension of the moment. (I hope you're not sick of me talking about yoga; I don't think I'll quit any time soon!)
If your mistake affects someone else, go ahead and ’fess up. You’ll feel better and the other person will trust you way more.
Imagine how you'll feel about the mistake in six months. Pushing your thoughts out to the future can help put things in perspective.
...you can only do your best at any given time. Sometimes your best is, well, not as good as it is other times. That's fine. If you know you did your best, you can't get very upset at yourself!
Ask someone for help feeling okay about your mistake. Just saying it out loud takes away some of the sting. (Thank you eternally, Brene Brown!)
Plan for next time.
If you couldn't have done anything differently, don't stress. But if there's something you could have done to prevent the mistake, by all means, do what you can to keep it from happening again. Maybe that's putting in a reminder or maybe it's hiring help.
Pat yourself on the back for not freaking out—or maybe not freaking out as much as you could have! Even small progress is progress and it’s worth acknowledging.
Keep on keepin’ on!
Go do something else. Maybe take a pause or just dive into the next thing. You know, whatever works!
Want to share any mistakes you've made so we can laugh together?