Lessons in Business: Don’t Be Afraid of Making Mistakes & If You Do, Stop Trying to Learn from Them

Nobody particularly likes making mistakes. Yet, perhaps one of the greatest lessons in business is learning to not be afraid of this possibility.

However, another great lesson in business is the realization that you don’t always have to learn from the mistakes you make when they do inevitably happen, either.

Take a moment and watch the video above from Mark Zuckerberg, who explains why mistakes may be a good thing in many ways.

So, you’ve made a mistake… what now?

Conventional wisdom says we need to learn from our mistakes to avoid repeating them. Especially for those in leadership and management positions where a lot of crucial decision-making happens, learning the hard lessons in business thatcome from making mistakes helps us develop a better sense of judgment.  That way, we make better choices in the future.

A new study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, however, argues that when we dig up the past and think about our mistakes too much, we can actually negatively impact both our self-control and decision-making process.mistakes


The authors of the study contend that trying to learn from our past mistakes in an attempt to change future behavior for the bbroccolietter won’t be very helpful.

Our mind gets defensive because it doesn’t want to feel bad feelings. It searches for any possible reason or way we don’t feel like we’ve incriminated ourselves. In the authors’ words, we constantly rewrite the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. So we rationalize what we did wasn’t a mistake to begin with. This is our mind’s way of protecting itself.

Instead, the study suggests using the past as a tool for improvement of present behavior.

Especially when it comes to self-control, it’s best to look forward and set goals for the future.

Therefore, instead of ruminating on a past entrepreneurship failure, focus on what you want to accomplish next time with a new business strategy and development in place. Consider what the consequences might be if you are to make a different choice.

The authors, however, clarified that there is still value to recalling the past – especially if you achieved success that you can remember and recall easily.


Icon Credits (thenounproject.com):

Gan Khoon Lay