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Brian K. Mitchell

If You’re Not Making Mistakes, You’re Not Trying Hard Enough


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10/12/2012
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Simple repetition (practice) and goal-setting techniques can help you develop self-confidence. However, Brian Mitchell also places importance on another tool for building your confidence level. This one might be a bit less intuitive:

Make mistakes.

Yes, make mistakes. Do things wrong. Fail. And then take a look at what happened. What were you trying to do and why didn’t it work out?

Learning from mistakes is a powerful technique for improving in just about any endeavor.

There are an endless number of reasons why mistakes happen, but Brian believes nearly all of them can be put in one of two categories:

Growing Mistakes

Have you ever tried to do something that was both new to you and that was also quite complicated? Like learning a new language or learning to play chess or another similarly complicated game? If you have tried one of these things, then you’ve probably made mistakes.

Similarly, when Brian was playing in the NFL and would try to learn a new play, sometimes one or more of his teammates would get confused and run left when they were supposed to run right, or something similar.

It’s only natural to make mistakes when you’re learning or trying something new. And the newer it is—the less familiar to you—the more likely you are to make mistakes. Don’t beat yourself up when you make these kinds of mistakes; take a look at what you did, think about what you meant to do, and see what you can change so that the outcome is better. Learn from your mistake!

And practice, practice, practice. Often what it takes to stop making these kinds of mistakes is simple practice.  One of the magical results of practice is that you’ll eventually stop making these kinds of mistakes. You’ll master whatever it is you’re trying to learn. And this will build your confidence, empowering you to tackle the next challenge.

Simple Mistakes

The other broad category of mistakes is simple mistakes. Locking your keys in the car or forgetting to get milk at the store are relatively harmless examples of these kinds of mistakes. Again, don’t beat yourself up for making these kinds of mistakes; accept that all people make mistakes from time to time.

And even though making simple mistakes is unavoidable, you can still learn from them. Don’t like locking your keys in the car? Use your key to lock the door from the outside—this way you’ll never lock your keys in the car again. Hate coming home from the grocery store and realizing you forgot something? Make and use a grocery list.

Brian Mitchell had a 14-year NFL career (Washington Redskins 1990-1999, Philadelphia Eagles 2000-2002, and New York Giants 2003). Since leaving the NFL, he has developed a successful career as a television and radio host. How did he do it? He set goals and worked to accomplish them; when he made mistakes, he learned from them.  If you are part of a group that would benefit from Mitchell’s inspirational presentation about the values of reputation, self-confidence, and more, contact him at 703-434-0734.



Category: Business Leaders


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