The benefit of making mistakes

All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from them.Winston Churchill

We all make mistakes. Yes, that statement is so obvious that it’s hardly worthy saying. There is, however, a less obvious, but very important aspect of mistakes that is well worth considering: we never have a better learning opportunity than from mistakes. They may cost us money, time, energy, and sometimes even embarrassment, but learning from them will save us much, much more.

Don’t beat yourself up about your mistakes. Wallowing in self-pity as a result of a mistake is disempowering and holds you back. Dust yourself down, learn the lesson and move forward.

There is a huge benefit that can be derived from making a mistake. You learn valuable lessons from mistakes and they should always be viewed as the testing ground for your ideas and actions. The important thing is that you don’t repeat your mistakes.

Action exercise
List what you learnt from your most recent mistake.
‘What do you do when you learn to swim? You make mistakes. And what happens then? You make more mistakes and when you have made them all without drowning what do you find? That you can swim! Life is just the same as learning to swim. Do not be afraid of making mistakes, for there is no better way of learning.’ Alfred Adler

John Lloyd is author of Smart Thinking for Crazy Times. Buy a copy at a smart bookstore near you today. Subscribe to his free tri-monthly E-zine at


Comments are closed.