I completed a job for a client only to learn I had made a mistake that caused a missed deadline. So, I had to redo that portion of the project.
I got angry with myself for having made such a simple mistake – what was I thinking? For days all the successful projects of the past disappeared from memory. All I could see was this little error. It appeared huge and threatening. I couldn’t think clearly enough to make the corrections.
My wife asked me if anyone would be physically harmed by the mistake. I said no. Would anyone lose money? – No.
Would my reputation be destroyed? – No.
Would I be able to correct the mistake? – Yes.
The problem was my arrogance. As if I was too good to mess up in that way. When I realised I was feeling sorry for myself, I was able to focus on what needed to be done, make the corrections and move on.
Sometimes we need to embrace our imperfections, work with them and use them as fuel to learn and grow.
That experience was a great teacher.