“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” Richard Branson
Continuing the theme from the last blog, let’s talk more about mistakes – have you made any in the last week?
I bet you have! I have made quite a few, but I am going to focus on just one of them in this blog.
Last week I forgot to put a worksheet in the envelope packs that I sent my students; I only remembered once it was too late. The packs had been sent and the video that explained the worksheet was made and posted on YouTube so what could I do?
Well, I had two options.
I could reflect on the failure. Turn things around in my head; could I do anything to change things? No. So I could then start to worry that my students would miss out, that they would laugh at me, or be annoyed when they saw the video, think that the whole programme was messed up, that I had let everyone down and everything I was doing was wrong. So why bother? I had ruined everything.
Realise that I could not change anything and view the mistake as just a small bump in the road that I could learn from. Reflect in a positive way and find a solution so I did not repeat the mistake again.
It is very easy to take Option 1 and before you know it a very simple mistake gets blown out of proportion. We all spend time worrying about things that we cannot change – there was no way I could get the envelopes back. Worrying takes energy that makes us not see things as clearly as we should, so we start to turn small mistakes into great big ones. We begin to imagine the worse possible scenario that everything is ruined and then we can become stressed and upset.
Option 2 is a much better way to view mistakes. When things do go wrong, focus on what you can change and how you can learn from them. No one is immune from mistakes and it is how we learn, so take the positives.
Once I had gone for a walk and realised that I could not do anything to change it, and that my students would understand (they are lovely!), I reflected on what I could learn from the mistake.
On reflection, I realised that I had been rushing making the packs and had not checked the video before I sent the packs off. So, in future I have decided that as I make a video, I will also make a list of items that need to go in the packs and tick them off as I put them in.
Remember when things go wrong – as they will – don’t worry about it, be kind to yourself and see the mistake as a learning point.
You never know, you could turn a mistake into a blog like I have!