If you get irritated by the fact that despite your best efforts, all you get is criticism for what could have been done better, then ask yourself if you are guilty of the same mistake. Each of us guilty, albeit in varying degrees of being critical, unappreciative and finger pointing, especially when things do not happen as we plan or hope for. Occasionally some of us even berate ourselves for our lack of success and / or our failures because we find it hard to accept that we could not achieve what we set out to do. The point is that we are pained when others do not appreciate our toil, sweat and tears and unfortunately we too succumb to the same when we undervalue ourselves and others.
Obviously no one can avoid mistakes. However we need to look at mistakes, failures, lack of success from a more holistic view. This will enable one to be less critical, more appreciative and value the efforts, the sacrifices and the struggle without overvaluing momentarily success. The former gives us work ethics; success is an important milestone and motivator but cannot substitute for the discipline, the hard work and the rigor that is the corner stone of every successful person.
So how must one react to mistakes?
Acknowledge – Mistakes happen but it is the way we acknowledge the mistake that ensures it does not cascade into a disaster. If we have made a mistake, be honest about it and acknowledge it. If others have made mistakes, acknowledge the mistake without passing judgment and / or getting emotional about it. Mistakes happen for a variety of reasons and it is patently unfair to judge the mistake without grasping all the facts.
Appreciate – Mistakes happen because someone decided to do something. Even not doing something is a decision. In most cases there is honest effort, clear goals and possibly deep thinking that preceded the action. One needs to appreciate all these, for often mistakes are not an outcome of these but a result of calculations gone wrong. By appreciating something, the signal is that one values everything done to get success and that not achieving it, is painful for all concerned.
Motivate – Criticism is the easiest thing to do; the challenge is to find something to motivate those who failed, to try again and hopefully succeed. Motivation is essential to keep up morale, kindle hope and most of all to express confidence in the person/s. Motivation pushes people to overcome the past, focus on the future and succeed beyond their capabilities.
Suggest – In the chaos that often follows failure, critics would give opinions, point out mistakes and berate the failure. Instead, an objective feedback in the form of suggestions would be more acceptable to those who are already dejected. In calmer moments they would review the performance and ponder over the suggestions and possibly come out with a better game plan to succeed.
Exude optimism – Every individual requires reassurance; if you are successful you need to be reassured that you can have a repeat performance but it is when you fail that you need to feel that still have it in you to try again and succeed. You exude optimism by being willing to lay your bets on success the next time around, by willing to join the journey the next time around and by proclaiming aloud that you have full faith and confidence. Optimism opens up numerous possibilities, gives greater confidence, you prepared to correct your previous mistakes and most of all you are ready to begin again.
Make it a point to notice the tears, the sadness and the pain first; acknowledge that and only then focus on the mistake.
- So list your top 3 failures and what where the reactions of people close to you then. How did you cope with those failures?
- What did you try differently and did not succeed in the first attempt? What did you learn from that experience?
- Do you recollect a time when you criticized someone for a failure and on hindsight realize that either you were wrong or too harsh?
- What are the things / activities that you are keen to start experiment with but fear of failure is holding you back? How about giving some of those desires a try?
This post is courtesy www.actspot.com
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