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Mistakes

When I was young, I was a bad little brother. My older sister will have you believe that I chased her around the house with a steak knife. I can say, without a doubt, that. did. not. happen….more than once. AND, it was a butter knife.

Now that I have children of my own, I realize, more than ever, the mistakes that I made as a child. I would love to know that my offspring won’t make the same errors in judgement that I did when I was their age. I also know that the likelihood of them making it through their teenage years without some serious misgivings, is pretty remote.

When you were a little kid did you ever look forward to the next mistake you were going to make? Did you ever ask your parents to point out when you did something wrong, so that you could adjust, and move forward?

Probably not.

With that being said, it should come as no surprise that it’s difficult for many of us to use our mistakes as springboards to the next step in our career. I mean, seriously, have you ever looked forward to your boss coming in and saying: “You really messed that one up, Jack…better luck next time. Now, let’s talk about it.”

However, if taken appropriately, and in the right dosages, a case of humble pie is a good thing. There’s something to be said for the person that can take a mistake that they’ve made, and grow from it. I’m impressed with people who are secure enough in themselves that they actually thrive, after having a difficult conversation.

What if you had someone tell you that you were mistaken? How have you felt when it’s happened to you in the past? Do you go on the defensive? Do you shut down? Do you listen? Do you look for the nugget in each conversation, and grow from it?

The next time you are faced with a mistake that you’ve made, work or personal, take a second to step back and listen. Maybe, just maybe, that mistake-pointer-outer is on to something.

So, after all these years, I would like to thank my sister for pointing out my mistake at the time, and again every year since at Christmas. I have certainly grown from that mistake and haven’t chased anyone with a knife since. Thanks Casey!

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