Suyin Aerts
October 13, 2023


What always strikes me is when you work on projects, or in a company with ex- athletes or people that have a sport education, that they are very ambitious and have a hard time accepting their mistakes. 

It is something that I recognize a lot, being a perfectionist myself.

But when you are an athlete you know that you need to take risks to grow, when you want to mean something at peak level you have to dare to play the game aggressively. When you take risks, mistakes are unavoidable. But that doesn’t mean that you like it when you make a mistake or when you forget something.

Elite athletes understand that errors are part of high performance and a necessary way to learn new skills and strategies. Instead of spending time and energy trying to avoid mistakes, elite athletes learn how to bounce back quickly from errors.

Beating yourself up about a past mistake doesn’t change what happened. I think it is important that even if you are not in sports anymore you do not go into a pattern of self-criticism after you make mistakes. The danger is that you might develop a fear-of-failure mindset, instead of a growth mindset. 

I believe it is important to believe in yourself, and in the fact that your talents and intelligence will grow overtime.

When you focus too long on an error you might miss to get back in the mental state that helps you perform at your best.  If you are not making mistakes it means to me that you are not performing at the highest possible level, that you are not taking all your chances.

If you once were a competitive performer, you know that the biggest competitor is your own self esteem.

But as we are all human beings we all have highs and lows, we can’t avoid the human condition.

We grow by taking risks and stretching ourselves.

I try to teach people in my teams to accept the mistake, try to understand why you made the mistake and then, then fix the mistake in your head, forgive yourself, and forge forward.

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