Learn from your Mistakes




Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

Do you make mistakes in your role? You may be repeatedly making the same mistakes and thinking, “How have I got it wrong again?!”. If this is you, do not worry. You are not alone! With any goal or project comes mistakes. We as humans are not perfect and this is how the world rolls. What is important is that you are accountable for your mistakes and that you make an effort to learn from them. 

In the wise words of Gary Vaynerchuk, “Being accountable is very different from “beating yourself up.” (Vaynerchuk, 2019). Use your mistakes as a way to learn and to evolve into the best version of yourself (fist pump to that!). 

Our team at Belvista Studios have been taking our roles to the next level. We are trying new tasks, taking on new responsibilities and developing ourselves further. By default this has led to mistakes. Through this process of making mistakes we have seen the value of putting improvement strategies into place, internally for our team and also to work better with our clients.

We are inspired to share these strategies with you as we believe that they can support you in your role (particularly if you are taking on new challenges).

Here are our top strategies, straight from the Belvista Studios team, for learning from your mistakes.

Strategy 1: Facts over emotions

When you make a mistake it is not uncommon to have an emotional reaction. You may have worked hard on something and felt that you had delivered something that was perfect for what was required. That confidence can come crashing down when you receive feedback that what you created/did was not quite right. Whether it was your boss, a fellow team member or your client—you need to be prepared for other opinions and flaws in your work. Rather than getting upset, frustrated or demotivated by the feedback, stop and put your emotions to the side. From our perspective and experience, the best thing that you can do is stop yourself when you are having an emotional reaction and instead focus on the facts.

To focus on the facts, do the following:

  1. Analyse the feedback and identify exactly what is being communicated: It can be easy to look at feedback and make assumptions that catastrophises what is being communicated. For example, if you receive an email from a client asking if you use a proofreader, do not rush to conclusions and think that the quality of your work is poor. The client may not have even checked your work and could just be asking the question to see if that is a task to be actioned. The first step to success in making improvements is obtaining a deep understanding of the feedback that you are receiving. To do this, take the time to carefully look at/listen to the feedback and analyse what is being communicated.
  2. Clarify that you have interpreted the feedback correctly: Once you have gained an understanding of the feedback, clarify this understanding with the person who gave you the feedback. This will confirm that you understand what needs to be improved. They will also be impressed that you took on their feedback and made an effort to understand it. 
  3. Take action: Take action to solve the problem and make improvements in alignment with the feedback. 
  4. Re-deliver the improved solution/work: Once you have made improvements, re-deliver the solution with a list of the improvements that you made as per the feedback. This shows the client/your boss/your team mate that you took their feedback on board and made the necessary improvements to meet their needs. 
Strategy 2: Solutions over problems

When you come across a problem in your work and you feel the need to reach out to your client/boss/team mate, think about how you can present a solution over a problem. 

When you hit a roadblock, it can be tempting to share that problem with another person in the hope that they will provide you with a quick solution. We have learnt that it is far more effective for us to present a solution over a problem. You may not know the perfect solution (hence why you have hit a roadblock) but offering one may speed up the process of solving the problem.

By taking responsibility for your work and attempting to solve the problems associated with your work, you will save time and avoid distracting others. 

Some examples of this in action are below.


Our team keeps each other accountable by sending a ‘buzzword’ (ours is “I want to kashoot myself”, lol) if a team member sends a problem over a solution.

Strategy 3: Creating habits

It can be difficult to turn new skills into habits. Our team found that even when we learnt something new and used that new skill for a task, a couple of days later we had forgotten.

This was not a ‘I cannot be bothered’ scenario. We were all giving 100%, so we needed to figure out what the problem was. Why were we not retaining the new skills?

We discovered that often we had numerous skills that we were learning at the one time and this became overwhelming for some of our team members. To solve this we made a ‘new skills’ list. The list became a checklist to ensure that we incorporated each of the new skills into our work. We refer to this list when completing each of our tasks.

We noticed that over time, we needed to refer less and less to the checklist by looking at it, as we had used the skill automatically (in other words, the skill had become a habit).

Strategy 4: Understanding your team

Each and every one of us learns in different ways. What we noticed within our team was that we each needed to receive information/direction differently in order to successfully retain it.

Some of our team members just needed to be told what to do whilst others needed to understand why doing that certain thing was important.

Our advice is to ask each of your team members how they would like to receive direction in relation to new skills/challenges (or if you are a team member, express your preference to your team/leader). Our team members who needed to understand the why and did not receive that information often made assumptions that not using the new skill would have minimal to no impact (when in fact it did!).

That is it for this blog. In order to improve and challenge yourself, you will make mistakes, so try not to be hard on yourself! We hope that this blog has given you some practical tips to take on new challenges (and if you are a leader, give your team members more responsibility). Taking on new and challenging tasks can ironically be ‘challenging’ but you can put measures in place to increase your chance of success (like the ones we have mentioned in this blog). From the Belvista Studios team to you, “You have got this!”.

If you are interested in this topic and would like to discuss it further, please do not hesitate to contact our passionate founder Kim Tuohy via kim@belvistastudios.com or by connecting with her on LinkedIn. You can also watch Kim and Hannah discuss this topic in further detail on our YouTube channel here or listen to our conversation on our podcast platform here.

                                                      References 

Vaynerchuk, G [@garyvee]. (2019, November 12). This is a subtle but massively important statement, too many think this is black and white to me it’s super grey, u can be accountable and still love yourself ... walk that fine line pls [Instagram photograph]. Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/p/B4vcUeuARfI/

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