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Tip 3: Reframing mistakes – How you can benefit from your mistakes

The first thing you need to do is understand that your mistake does not define you. It is common to experience feelings of inadequacy after making a mistake. However, it is important to remember that you are much more than any single error. Recognise that you can improve and that you can drive to do better.

It’s a fact that mistakes are connected to a lot of negative emotions. Shame, disappointment, sadness, worry, anger, or embarrassment often follow when you make an error. While we’ve all heard the saying “every mistake is a lesson,” it can be difficult to wrap your head around the idea if you’re experiencing difficult emotions.

So how do you deal with all the emotions that come with making mistakes, and how do you then take a positive step towards improvement?

As part of our “Unlocking the secrets to lifelong success: Tips from the Pros” series, we will tackle making mistakes today. More importantly, we will learn how to reframe our mistakes into valuable learning opportunities that we shouldn’t pass up.

Recovering from Mistakes

Getting over an error is easier said than done, especially if you allow your mistake to really get to you. Before you can even focus on the silver lining, the lesson you need to learn, you must come to terms with how you’re feeling, accept the mistake, and take steps toward improving.

There are a few ways you can do this:

1. Remember that you’re more than just your mistake.

The first thing you need to do is understand that your mistake does not define you. Feeling like you’re not good enough when you’ve stuffed up is normal. But always remember that there’s so much more to you. Recognise that you can improve and that you can drive to do better.

2. Identify your mistake and own up to it.

When you identify what you did wrong, you are more likely to prevent yourself from repeating the same blunder in the future. But, as soon as you pinpoint your error, it can bring about negative feelings.

For example, you just realised you didn’t save enough for your car’s registration. Now that the date is approaching, you scramble to find a way to pay for your car registration. As soon as you realise that you should have never splurged on café-bought lattes every day, you might feel disappointed and frustrated with yourself.

Go back to number 1 and focus on moving forward. When you accept the mistake you made, the quicker you can put it in the past.

3. Is there a solution?

Most mistakes have a solution. If you can find a good solution, then carry it out so you can fix the wrong that you did. If it is something that can’t be fixed right away, like breaking someone’s trust, then you might have to consider allowing the situation to run its course.

4. Talk to Someone

Do not try to handle whatever emotions you are feeling on your own. If you are having trouble recovering from an obstacle, try reaching out to those closest to you for support. A little support from those who care for you will help you move forward more quickly.

5. Identify the Lesson

Steps 1 – 4 will change your perspective about your mistake. You may have viewed your mistake in a bad light, but since you’ve proactively taken steps to make sure that you move forward, you can now clearly identify what you can learn from your experience.

One of the Most Costly Mistakes You’ll Make: Financial Mistakes

Understanding how we can get over our mistakes doesn’t exempt us from not making any in the future. As adults, we may have already gone through several life experiences, but it’s still possible for us to make more mistakes that we can learn from, especially regarding our finances.

You have to admit, we weren’t really taught at school about how to manage our finances. We probably assumed that we would just pick up money-managing skills as we grow up. But the truth is we could have been exposed to financial habits that have programmed us to make less ideal financial choices.

From racking up a hefty credit card balance to spending thousands a year on things we don’t need, we’re probably guilty of making the following common financial mishaps:

  1. Not having a savings account for emergencies,
  2. Not aggressively paying off high-interest debts,
  3. Spending more than we earn,
  4. Going through life without a financial plan,
  5. Not developing discipline in spending, and
  6. Making non-essential purchases and putting them on your credit card.

The list goes on. There are so many more financial mistakes we make as adults that we don’t even realise we’re making. And these can be quite a few daily. That’s why financial mistakes are costly; they are big obstacles that hinder us from saving up for a house, taking that deserved vacation, and living with a sense of financial security.

Lessons You Can Learn from Financial Mistakes

If the financial mistakes listed above are familiar, you’re not alone. Only 66% of Australians consider themselves financially literate. It’s common not to have a household budget, an investment plan, or a long-term savings plan. However, it is common money mistake to have massive credit card debt and experience financial hardship.

Financial mistakes can be major causes of stress and anxiety. It is important to reframe these mistakes into learning opportunities. Some of the lessons you can learn are:

Increased Financial Literacy  

This might have been the wake-up call you needed to become more financially literate. You may take the time to research and educate yourself on how to avoid similar mistakes in the future, which can help you make better financial decisions overall.

Improved Decision-Making Skills

You may become more familiar with assessing risk, weighing the pros and cons of different financial choices, and making informed decisions.

Increased Resilience

Although making financial mistakes can be demotivating, it can help you become more resilient. When you learn from your mistakes, you become better equipped to handle financial challenges and setbacks in the future.

Greater Appreciation for Financial Stability

Financial mistakes can be a reminder of how important financial stability is. You may become more focused on building an emergency fund, paying down debt, or saving for the future due to your mistake.

Increased Empathy

Lastly, making financial mistakes can help you become more empathetic toward others struggling financially. You may even be able to offer support and advice to friends and family who are going through a similar experience.

Take a Positive Step Forward

Remember that everyone makes mistakes in life, but it’s important to look at them with a positive perspective. We can also make mistakes regarding our finances. That’s why learning to make better decisions is key for your financial future.

Have you made a financial mistake and aren’t sure how you can learn from it?

If you’d like to learn more about managing your finances, Help My Wealth’s learning modules will teach you how to manage your money and be empowered to reach your financial goals. Alongside our 1-to-1 coaching, you are sure to reach your financial goals.

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Tip 3: Reframing mistakes – How you can benefit from your mistakes

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