I pretty sure that everyone already felt the fear of admitting their own mistake at work. We might be terrified to tell our manager, nervous about what our co-workers might think and even the impact it might have on the business.
I will go straight and say, mistakes are normal and it is an opportunity for one’s professional growth. The most important thing is that you take action and address the situation sooner rather than later.
You might be the family’s breadwinner or you might wonder how you’re going to pay the bills when you get fired. Do not let your thought go there yet. But, when the stakes are high, it is perfectly normal to worry and play the what-ifs in your head.
It can lead to feelings such as agitation and anxiousness. While all these feelings are normal and valid, it is also a chance for you to grow professionally and learn from the experience. There are things that you can do to keep your anxiety at bay and learn from it with grace.
Feel Those Emotions, But Not for Too Long
It’s natural to feel frustrated, embarrassed, upset, and even distressed for the time being. According to Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor in her book “My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey”, when a person has a reaction to something that happened in their environment, there is a 90-second chemical process that happens in the body. After that, any remaining emotional response is the person choosing to stay in the emotional loop.
It means that we have 90 seconds to feel what happened. The remaining time is up to us how to think logically about the things that took place.
We have different lengths of processing things. But mistakes committed at work requires action right away. Even if there is a shadow of negativity lingering. Now that you have made a mistake, accept it, feel it, and plan your next step.
Resolve and Learn from It
Most of the time, work mistakes can be corrected or resolved quickly. You have to keep your perspective in making it right or finding a solution to what has been done. If your mind is too focused on the negative impact, you might have trouble finding a resolution for it.
Maybe you forgot to plan the meeting or turn in your report or probably submitted the wrong file, it’s fine. Try to calm down and do not let your emotions get the best of you. You have to show that you are prepared for the repercussions. While still welcoming the opportunity to learn from the event that took place. It will improve you further in your career.
Accept and Apologize
You have to accept that mistakes at work can impact negatively others or to the business itself. You have to be honest with yourself. Admitting that you have committed an error makes it easier for you to cope with the consequences. This will remove all the feelings of nervousness and anxiety. It makes the incident more endurable.
It’s never easy to admit your mistake. Still, it is important to be transparent and honest with your managers and co-workers. Don’t try to deny or cover up your mistake, instead deal with it straight on. This way other people will not get hurt by your mistake.
State your mistake and say that you are sorry out loud. Do not say any excuses. Do not justify your mistake. Do not beat yourself up. Acknowledge what went wrong and move on. Show that you are sincere and that you have the business’s best interest at heart.
Vent Those Emotions Out
Even if everything is resolved and you have learned your lesson, it is perfectly normal to feel still embarrassed, sad, and upset. Meet your trusted friend, practice breathing exercises, wash your face and talk it out. Write it in a journal or type it on your computer’s notes.
If you use notebook support when typing your heart out, it will lessen the anxious feeling. It will give you proper physical support that helps in having a clear mind when writing. Vent those emotions out until nothing is left.
Breathe in and type your emotions out. Putting it into words will help you think more logically. Helping you to assess what happened and realize what went wrong.
It is hard to maintain your cool when you are anxious and upset. Assess whether what you are feeling is proportional to the mistake that you made.
Be Humble and Earn Back Their Trust
One mistake does not have to define your whole career. Learn from the mistake and assess how you can prevent it from happening in the future. Your mistake does not have to derail your career or even your life.
Increase the feeling of taking charge and responsibility. Look at it from the business perspective, too. What happened might impact your co-workers and the business itself.
The best thing to do after the event is to earn people’s trust once again and deliver great work. Offer a resolution to correct the mistake that you made at work. Prepare a presentation to show your foolproof solution.
You can use notebook support while preparing your materials and important points. It will provide confidence and the feeling that you are still in control of what has happened. Make your presentation accessible and easy for everyone to see. It will make your presentation more effective. While allowing you to make clear your points and concise with what you want to convey.
Choosing the best working companions may help you to a great extent in these kinds of situations. Having a trusted device accessory will give you a big relief. It will make you feel the need to persevere more and learn from your mistake.
Bounce Back: What Happened, Happened.
Letting anxious thoughts can take over you easily. It will consume different aspects of you –your mood, stress levels, and ability to focus on your work. But, often, getting stuck on your mistake is a choice. When an anxious thought comes into your head, you have all the power to let it go.
It can also help to have your trustworthy friends and gadgets by your side to keep you calm. Rewire your mind to focus on the important things. You always have to get up and try again for the business and for your career. Do not hesitate to ask for help when you are not sure about something to prevent the same thing from happening. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
Be Kind to Yourself
Have a break, a good night’s sleep, and take better care of yourself. A lot of workers make mistakes at work from the stress and fatigue that they are feeling. Be mindful of what your body needs and listen to it. Having a good night’s sleep can greatly affect your work positively. It will make you feel more confident with your daily tasks and you can come to work prepared for the day’s challenge. Figure out the best tools to use to help with your tasks.
Since you can’t avoid mistakes from happening, look at it from a positive perspective. The most important thing to remember when these things happen is to learn from mistakes. Do not talk badly about yourself, and let it go. You have to let go of the feeling and forgive yourself. Communicate openly and honestly. Do not hesitate to ask for help and give help to those who need it as well. Again and again, every mistake is also an opportunity to grow and do better.
Remember, mistakes do not define your career but how you react to them can.