Winter’s coldest days are behind us and baseball players are about to gear up for spring training. While it might not be spring yet, it’s always a good time of year to think about fresh starts and springing back from mistakes. Whether you’re looking for a new job or if you’re just working hard at your current position, every one’s bound to strike out occasionally. Luckily, failure isn’t always a bad thing—making mistakes is not only important; it can play a role in success. So the next time life throws you a curve ball, remind yourself of these ways failure can be good for you.
It means you’re doing things.
Some people are so worried about doing something wrong that they don’t do anything at all. If you’re making mistakes, at least you’re out there trying things. If you’re working a job where you have to learn to do a new task, it’s better to do your best and try your hand at the project than to not do it at all because you’re afraid of messing up.
It helps you learn.
Supervisors, mentors, and friends can tell you how to do something, but you won’t be able to fully understand until you actually do it for yourself. Making mistakes gives you experience you can learn from, and when you make the mistake yourself it will stick with you longer. You will have to figure out a solution, which will actually make you smarter than you were before the mistake.
It connects you.
Everyone makes mistakes. If you’re honest about it and learn from it, other people will admire that you tried something new and learned from it. Failure generates compassion and empathy because others can relate to that time when they made a mistake. They know how it feels, and they also know what it’s like to overcome it.
It’s not the end.
Failure is almost never final. It just shows you that you need to go in a new direction. It’s an opportunity for a second (or third, or fourth) chance. The more we make mistakes the more knowledge we gain. Often, as we’re making mistakes we learn more than we would have if we got things right the first time. It’s healthy to make mistakes.
Remember these things the next time you slip up and you’ll feel better about yourself. Failure keeps things interesting and helps us grow and expand. For more workplace tips, check back at the Penmac blog each week.