How To Forgive Yourself For a Leadership Mistake

Sometimes, it’s difficult to forgive your own leadership missteps. 

You feel really remorseful when you’ve disappointed yourself or someone else. 

But being stuck in your own head about it won’t help you or your team.

This 5-step process can help you forgive yourself and move on with your life:

1️⃣Confront your mistake. 

In all circumstances, take responsibility for your error. Come face to face with it and acknowledge where you stumbled. As painful as it might be, this is the first step to forgiving yourself. Talking to someone else may help you release feelings that are suppressed inside.

2️⃣Analyze the impact. 

Take a moment to reflect on the outcome of your actions. Who has been affected? How badly were you or others hurt? Acknowledge the true impact, and avoid embellishing it with undeserved emotion.

Take the time to consider the impact outside of what you initially see. It’s sometimes easy to overlook the smaller impact when the greater one is overwhelming.

3️⃣Accept your human imperfections. 

Above all, be kind to yourself. Remind yourself that you’re human. There’s nobody in the entire world who goes through life without making mistakes. However, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t excuse what happened.

While accepting your human imperfections, take the time to identify your shortcomings. Use the opportunity to work on aspects of yourself that you might want to improve. Perhaps you’d like to further develop certain character traits or strengthen your skills in particular areas.

4️⃣Try to remedy the situation and make amends. 

Even if it has been quite some time since the situation occurred, if the result of your blunder caused harm to others, consider offering an apology and asking for forgiveness. This action alone can be very healing for both you and the person that suffered harm as a result of your mistake.

5️⃣Challenge yourself to do better. 

Consider what you could have done differently to prevent your misstep, and develop a plan to act differently if you face a similar situation in the future. 

Ask your supportive friends, family, or coach to help you on your journey. 

You have abundant potential. That potential sits unused while you consume yourself with negative energy.

Download Your Free Leadership Blueprint

Are you an advanced-degree scientist or engineer looking to maximize your influence and earning-potential?

Get my free 20-page Leadership Blueprint.