Learning from Your Mistakes
4:20:0 2023-09-16 132

1- Correct your mistakes. Mistakes can help you learn, but only if you make sure they are corrected. For example, if you use the wrong ingredient while cooking, be sure to ask your mother or a knowledgeable person about the correct way to use the ingredient, so that you can revise the information in your memory.


2- Keep a journal of your mistakes and successes. It can be helpful to write down when, where, and how you're making mistakes in your life. This will create additional awareness of your patterns, which may be difficult to notice in the heat of the moment. Carry a small pocket journal around with you and make note of times that you did something wrong. Review the entries later when you have free time, and explore options for what you could have done differently.

  • For example, if you're working on a new recipe and things keep going poorly, make a note of where you're messing up. Think about it later that evening and see if you can come up with ways to prepare the dish differently.
  • You should also keep track of your successes. You will be more motivated to continue learning despite making mistakes if you can track your progress over time and celebrate what you're good at. A solely negative focus is unhelpful.

3- Focus on “get-better” goals rather than “be-good” goals. “Be-good” goals set unrealistic expectations for yourself, especially if you're just starting out with an activity. If you set “be-good” goals, you are raising the stakes and telling yourself that you need to succeed in order to be a good person. “Get-better” goals, on the other hand, are all about improvement. With these goals, you don't need ridiculously high achievements in order to feel good about yourself. You're aiming for improvement, not perfection.

  • For example, focus on the “get-better” goal of learning how different spices affect the taste of food, rather than the “be-good” goal of being a master chef right off the bat.


4- Ask for help. There's no shame in asking for help with something you haven't gotten the hang of yet. Putting your ego aside and learning from someone who has more experience than you is a great way to improve, especially if you find yourself in a rut and don't know how to proceed.

  • For example, ask a chef at your favorite restaurant or a family member with a lot of cooking experience if you are having trouble with a cooking basic.


5- Believe in your abilities. Research suggests that people who believe they can learn from mistakes are actually more likely to learn from mistakes. Knowing that it's possible for you to learn from mistakes is a good step toward actually doing it.

  • After a mistake such as burning a dish, tell yourself “I can learn from this. It’s possible to use this experience. Now I know to use a lower oven temperature.”

6- Give yourself time. Sometimes all it takes to learn from a mistake is one pass. This isn't always the case, however. Many times, in order to learn from a mistake, we have to make it several times over. It can be difficult to catch on at first, so give yourself leeway to make the same mistake a few times before getting frustrated.

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