Managing a Great Mistake–Exercises and Tools

Champions keep playing until they get it right. – Billie Jean King, Wimbledon tennis champ

What is your attitude toward taking risks? Afraid of making a mistake, or not having your mistakes tolerated by others? Taking risks results in living on the edge, breaking new ground, hopping out of the box, and yes, making mistakes. Feel free to take risks by learning how to manage your mistakes, here:

1. How can you develop a scientific mind-set toward mistakes, to see them as “stepping-stones to success” rather than things to avoid or be ashamed of? Think about this question and then write your answer in a journal.

2. Make a list of three of your “best mistakes” in your journal. What are three things that went wrong, that you regretted doing or not doing, or that didn’t turn out the way you wanted them to?

3. What did you learn from those mistakes? How are you actually better off now because of the valuable lessons you learned?

4. Finish the sentence: “From now on when I make a mistake, I’m going to ______.”

5. There is an important rule for this exercise: you must promise yourself that you will not get depressed over your mistakes and wallow in sorrow. Look at your mistakes for clues and insights that will allow you to move forward, not backward.

6. Make the topic of your next talk with friends “The Best Mistakes We’ve Made.” Acknowledge your top three mistakes in life and describe what you learned from each mistake. Be sure to have your journal with you so you can record important insights.

Adapted from This Life is Not the One I Ordered, by Deborah Collins Stephens, et al (Conari Press, 2007). Copyright (c) 2007 by Deborah Collins Stevens. Reprinted by permission of Conari Press.
Adapted from This Life is Not the One I Ordered, by Deborah Collins Stephens, et al (Conari Press, 2007).


Camilla Vaga
Camilla Vaga6 years ago


Winn Adams
Winn A6 years ago


J.L. A.
JL A6 years ago

good tips

paul m.
paul m6 years ago

Thanks ...

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen6 years ago

Thank you :)

a             y m.
g d c6 years ago


Duane B.
.6 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Jonathan Harper
Jonathan Harper6 years ago


Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton6 years ago