How to turn your mistakes into wins

by Aug 14, 2019

Do you turn your mistakes into wins?

Failure doesn’t have to be a bad outcome if you turn your mistakes into wins instead.

Women are portrayed as being more risk averse than men. Part of this may be due to greater levels of cautiousness, whether innate or socialised. This is portrayed in the well-known line; if it had been called ‘Lehman Brothers and Sisters,’ the financial crisis of 2009 wouldn’t have happened. The other element that affects female risk aversion is fear of failure.

Reasons why women fear failure:

1. Concern about the perceptions of others
2. Worry about how a failure will impact future goals – “What if…?”
3. Doubts about their own ability  – the Imposter Syndrome
4. Disappointing others
5. Blocked by physical stress symptoms
6. Overcome by anxiety and worry
7. Procrastination
8. Setting yourself up for failure and lower expectations

Turn Your Mistakes Into Wins


How to deal with fear of failure

It’s important to own any fear in the process and to understand what you are doing. A coach can help you with this. Discussing your concerns with a professional, trusted colleagues or a mentor can further boost your confidence. It’s also important to concentrate on the elements you have within your personal control. You can’t control what other people think or feel, but you can manage the risk by taking all the necessary precautions to make sure the task is successfully executed. This might be in the preparation; consulting other specialists and making sure the project or task is correctly planned.

A coach can be an essential way to get you to where you want to be in your career. Check out our vast array of experienced Coaches HERE.

Turn your mistakes into wins

But if things don’t go to plan learn how to turn mistakes into wins:

1. A mistake isn’t the end

It’s a set back and the basis of learning. Take a look at what didn’t go to plan and ask yourself; ‘what you would do differently next time?’ Don’t let it put you off having another go. Don’t get into analysis paralysis, ruminating over every little detail, but focus on the key elements on which the project or task turned.

2. Acquire the missing skills

Whether this was a technical or leadership skill, understand what you need to do to acquire it. Whether it’s attending a course or workshop, gaining a qualification, spending time shadowing, or talking to a specialist, it will all be worth doing. See it as part of the continuous learning process.

Beatrice put herself forward for a more senior role but lacked the financial experience in budget preparation and forecasting, which was part of the job. She told us “I just went straight to the finance manager and said – ‘Help! How can I learn about this?’ She recommended some podcasts and reading. Little by little it became less intimidating. Being humble helped, rather than trying to wing it.”

3. Failure is normal

Avoid catastrophic thinking. Understanding that set backs are normal and not end-of-the-world, life-shattering experiences is important. Reframing the experience and putting it in context will help you move forward. Emma was plagued with an attack of nerves before a presentation. It had never happened before. “I present to groups regularly and am usually comfortable speaking in public. All of a sudden, at an important meeting, my voice cracked, my mind went blank, I started sweating. I had no idea where it came from.

Emma worked with a coach who identified underlying but unrelated causes of stress. She also saw a presentation skills coach. “The two specialists combined helped me understand that this was a temporary glitch caused by other stresses in my job. I learned relaxation techniques and to be open with my boss about what was going on for me. What was terrifying, and I thought a career-ending experience, turned out to be a valuable lesson on how I internalise stress and how it eventually manifests itself in me.”

Learning how to turn your mistakes into wins is critical to any career progression. Furthermore, it maintains a growth mindset so you can avoid getting stuck in a rut and thereby reach your full potential.

Every mistake is an opportunity to improve, so don’t let them get you down. Instead come back fighting by using this FREE Power Word List.

If you feel passionate about gender balance and topical issues impacting women in the workplace 3Plus would be delighted to publish your work. Don't wait - send it in

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