Mistakes – Get Over Them

I made a mistake. – it can happen. But then I made a bigger mistake – I kept thinking about it. Here’s a lesson on mistakes – get over them!

I was in a theater production that required me to dance a bit. Now, I’m not a dancer, but I just was part of the backup line that made the dancers in front of us look even more impressive for the climax of the song. I memorized my steps and rehearsed them over and over because they needed to move along quickly.

So it was during a final rehearsal that it happened. I stepped to the right when I should have stepped to the left. It horrified me! Everyone else stepped to the left, so my blunder really stuck out! I began to beat myself up, mentally, instead of getting back on track. It ruined my performance for the rest of the dance.

Worse yet, I threw the people around me off! Why did I do that? Was it really so surprising that I could make a mistake? Was that misstep going to be so disappointing to the director? Yes, but only because I couldn’t get over it. and dance the rest of that tune. Only because I focused on the mistake, instead of letting it go and moving on.

Afterward, the director pulled me aside and told me that when the inevitable mistake happens, get over it. And smile! Move on. Good advice. Here are few ideas to try next time you make a mistake:

  • You’re bound to make a few mistakes. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
  • Mistakes mean you’re stretching and growing and learning.
  • Focus on the bigger picture, not the individual problem.
  • Let go of what just happened, and think about what comes next.

So, today, you might make a mistake. Acknowledge, apologize, or correct it, but do it quickly. Don’t let it trip up the rest of your proverbial dance. You’re human, so get over it!

Get more performance out of your most valuable and expensive business assets – your people. Contact me to find out how.