How to learn from your mistakes and move on: 10 no bullsh*t tips

We all make mistakes. That’s part of life. Lessons are learned, we grow, and we become wiser.

The thing is, taking responsibility for our mistakes isn’t always easy. Nevertheless, if you focus, devote yourself, and remain resilient, you are sure to succeed.

There really is no secret to learning from your mistakes and moving forward with confidence. But I have listed down 10 tips to remind you that “this, too, shall pass.”

1) Acknowledge the mistake you made

It’s true: accepting what happened is the first step to moving forward.

As opposed to ignoring or denying your mistakes, acknowledgment gives you a conscious effort to take responsibility for them.

It’s easier to avoid repeating the same mistakes if you accept and understand them. Besides that, you’ll also learn how to improve yourself at this point.

2) Make time to reflect on your mistake

Reflecting on your mistakes is always valuable and quite humbling. Why? That’s because it’s an excellent avenue for learning.

It is only when you spend time thinking about what you did wrong that you can identify the reasons why this has happened in the first place.

Ask yourself the following questions: “What contributed to the mistake?” Or “What could I have done differently?”

By stopping to think and analyze, you can better understand yourself and your actions. This can help shape better decisions in the future.

3) Be responsible and own up to your actions

Ownership is a common value for a lot of people. But sometimes, it’s hard to live by.

When you take responsibility for your actions, you don’t only allow yourself to own the mistake you made. You also let other people know that you are willing to admit that you’re human.

By doing this, you show that you value a sense of ownership. It also involves actively making amends and making things right.

Truly, a crucial part of learning is accountability.

As a matter of fact, trying to justify what happened would not be wise. More so, placing the blame on someone else for what happened may even backfire.

These will only delay any form of solution and resolution of the whole situation.

And I’m not stopping there.

Taking responsibility for your wrongdoings can lead you to an excellent chance of improving your relationships with people around you in the future.

Anyhow, this definitely builds character. Moreover, it shows humility and respect for yourself.

The best part of all this is that, later, you will not be haunted by these mistakes.

4) Maintain an optimistic and forward-looking attitude

Think about it this way: if you keep dwelling on mistakes, you’ll never learn from them. I mean, it’s counterproductive and doesn’t really add any positive value to your life.

Instead, why not consider keeping a forward-looking mindset by focusing on the present?

If it were up to me, I would come up with a few real solutions. Similarly, I’d muster up the courage and confidence to plan for a similar situation in the future.

By doing this, you’ll be more motivated to make progress.

The most effective way to resolve a situation is to remain in control and learn from it. Additionally, you can determine how to avoid repeating the same mistake.

And guess what? Dwelling on the past is more meaningless than dwelling on the present. And making better decisions is equally as crucial as learning from mistakes.

Regardless of how you want to deal with your situation, the mistakes of the past should never weigh you down.

5) Forgive and don’t be too hard on yourself

Let’s face it: there are some mistakes that you can easily shrug off and learn from. However, there are some mistakes that can be more difficult to learn from and forgive yourself for.

In those cases, take a moment to acknowledge your mistake and talk to someone who can help you process the situation.

Remember, it’s okay to make mistakes — everyone does. What matters is how you move forward without letting them define you.

So, learn from your mistakes and then forgive yourself for making them. Keep in mind that forgiveness can be a key to the growth mindset you can develop from the experience. With that, you can be better equipped to handle any future hardships that may come your way.

Besides, taking responsibility for your mistakes is a great way to elevate your self-esteem and mental health.

6) Find ways to learn from others

Of course, it’s not just your mistakes that you can learn from. Other people’s experiences and wisdom can be invaluable sources of knowledge, too.

Talk to friends, family members, or colleagues who have already made the same mistake as you and learn how they overcame it. They can serve as your accountability partner in building your willpower to get through challenges in life.

Hear their advice to get a different perspective on the issue.

Now, you may learn a thing or two. Maybe they know a better solution than the one you were considering. Their insight may be valuable, so you can learn from their mistakes, too.

Either way, the important thing is that you learn from the imperfections of others. It’s a great way to gain knowledge and learn from your mistakes without having to bear all the burdens yourself.

7) Reframe and stay positive

Committing mistakes can be demotivating and demoralizing. But don’t let that stop you from learning and moving on.

But disappointment doesn’t have to lead to despair. Instead, use it as fuel for learning and improvement.

Think of mistakes as a learning process — an opportunity to learn and grow.

You may feel disappointed in yourself. But don’t let that stand in the way of progress.

Remember, dwelling on your mistakes will only do you harm. That’s because it can cloud your judgment, which could lead to more mistakes.

Speak positively about yourself, even if you’re disappointed in yourself for making a mistake. You may want to use affirming language such as “I will do better next time” or “I took a chance, but I know better to avoid making this mistake again.”

As you keep the positivity, you bring yourself one step closer to learning from your mistakes and steering away from dwelling on them.

8) Take proactive steps to prevent similar mistakes

A great way to learn and move on from your mistakes is by taking a generally proactive approach on a daily basis.

Why is that?

Well, having proactive behavior encourages us to think critically about our decisions and their corresponding consequences.

So, what are examples of proactive steps?

One is by creating a checklist of things to consider when making decisions. A simple table of pros and cons can help paint a picture of your thought process before taking action.

Additionally, you can opt to take classes and learn new skills that will help you avoid similar mistakes. Learning on your own or in a group can bring value to gaining new perspectives on approaching similar scenarios.

Remember, actionable steps taken will help you in moving on without having to stress over making mistakes.

9) Don’t let your mistakes define you

When you make mistakes, it can feel like they are defining you. But that isn’t true at all.

As you already know, committing every blunder is a part of life. It’s part of the learning process as we go through personal development.

Mistakes don’t define you. Your character isn’t defined by them

Call it a silver lining, but the fact is that they are an essential part of learning and growing as a person. It’s part of the journey toward building resilience, self-improvement, and becoming the best version of yourself.

Of course, you may have feelings of shame and guilt because of your wrongdoings. But just like any other feeling, they pass.

Every now and then, though, it’s healthy to remind ourselves that the mistakes we make don’t define us. It’s really how we learn from them that does it.

Remember, committing them doesn’t make you a failure. It makes you human.

Do your best to avoid the thought that it defines who you are or who you will be because of it. The fear of failure will only hinder you from the natural part of life –  learning.

Your mistake might seem like the end of the world at the moment. Of course, it can be a tough thing to get over for sure. But it’s actually just another opportunity for learning, growth, and self-improvement.

10) Celebrate your successes!

You don’t need to dwell on the negativity of your mistakes. In fact, the whole process of learning from your mistakes is what allows you to grow and succeed.

So instead of ruminating on the past, why not celebrate your successes?

Take a few moments to remember the big and small accomplishments that you have made in your life. Despite the small takeaways, remember how far you have come.

The truth is, if you learn the right lessons and take proactive steps to prevent similar mistakes from happening in the future, then you should also celebrate your successes!

To be honest, it can be easy to get caught up in thinking about what went wrong. But don’t forget to take a moment to appreciate what went well and how much you have learned from your mistakes as well.

By celebrating successes, it becomes easier to let go of any lingering negative feelings associated with your mistakes. Plus, you can learn a thing or two from them while moving on.

So learn from your mistakes, but celebrate accomplishments along the way too! It can make the journey of learning and growth that much more meaningful.

Let it go and let it be

These tips will help you learn from your mistakes and move on. Most importantly, learn to let go of any lingering thoughts or negative feelings associated with it.

Let yourself off the hook and give yourself permission to make mistakes.

Remember: it’s all part of the process!

Take your setbacks and make them setups.

Life isn’t all about getting it right all the time. A lot of it, really, is about learning and growing from our mistakes. So learn from them, learn to accept them, learn to forgive yourself for them, and learn how to move on.

If you can do that, then these mistakes transform into opportunities.

So go ahead and embrace them.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter if you make mistakes — it’s what you learn from them that counts.

So, learn and grow, then move on! You got this!

Frankie Pascua-dela Pasion

Frankie was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. She is a graduate of Humanities from the University of Asia and the Pacific.

Frankie is a seasoned Customer Success and Human Resources professional. She is also a certified Life Coach and Career Strategist. She helps people young and young at heart to simplify their lives by creating emotional awareness. She also loves working with people who have a genuine interest in breaking their inner limits through their journey of self-discovery and authenticity in their personal and professional lives.

Frankie’s recent venture into writing is fueled by her passion for human connection and meaningful relationships at home, at work, and basically everywhere. She enjoys the research, discovery, and reflection that go into each article as much as she writes about them, in the hopes that her words resonate with, and give perspective to her audience.

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