don't erase your mistakes

Learning from mistakes is a cliché; a phrase uttered repeatedly and with which we all nod our heads and intellectually agree… and then go out and unintentionally perpetuate the culture/body language/behaviors/emotional reactions/belief systems that undermine the possibility of learning from our errors.

“This basic perspective— that failure is profoundly negative, something to be ashamed of in ourselves and judgmental about in others— has deep cultural and psychological roots…. The net effect is simple: it obliterates openness and spawns cover-ups. It destroys the vital information we need in order to learn.– Black Box Thinking: Why Most People Never Learn from Their Mistakes-But Some Do


The remedy lies inside each and every one of us. Role model rationally responding to mistakes, viewing them as learning opportunities. First, willing to go public with our own mistakes, openly sharing a) What we have learned AND b) How we are “falling on the fumble”, implementing solutions to reduce the possibility of future occurrences.

Second, responding better to the mistakes of those around us, encouraging growth and recovery, solution oriented behavior; making it reasonably “safe” to fail while still upholding the standard of “recovery responsibility” i.e. you clean up your own messes.

Closing Quotes:

“A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.” – John C. Maxwell

“Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.” – Bruce Lee

“We learn from failure, not from success!” – Bram Stoker, Dracula

“It was one thing to make a mistake; it was another thing to keep making it.” – Jodi Picoult

As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier