Why do some people never learn from their mistakes

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

How Learning happens

If you have been reading in 2knowmyself for a while then most probably you already know that learning happens through a process that is called negative feedback. During that process a the person first makes a mistake while trying to learn a new skill.

After making that mistake the person tries another method to avoid that mistake and so his skill improves a bit. As the person keeps learning to avoid the common mistakes he develops a perfect skill and becomes an expert.

This happened to you when you first learned how to drive a car, use a computer or even a new smart phone. Most probably when you first used a smart phone you pressed all the wrong buttons before you learned to press the right ones.

Didn't you make any conclusions yet?
If learning works that way then this means that any person who keeps doing a certain activity over and over will become an expert at it. Now the question is, why would someone fail to develop social skills for years even though he was always trying?

Why would someone keep failing all his life long?
Why are there people who seem to never learn from their mistakes?
Why do some people keep doing the same job over and over without becoming experts?

Why do some people never learn from their mistakes

Here is why some people keep repeating the same mistake over and over without learning anything:

  • 1) The single strategy mistake: Lets suppose you kept moving from a job to another while discovering each time that you hate your job. In such a case you might waste your whole life repeating the same process over and over just because you aren't changing your strategy. What about doing something completely different? What about starting a business or turning a hobby into a career? The mistake you have been doing in such a case is using the same strategy that doesn't work over and over (finding a job in this case)
  • 2) The comfort zone trap: Because learning involves making mistakes you will never fully develop your skills before you make many of them. Now some people prefer to remain in their comfort zone instead of trying anything new and as a result their skills never improve for years and years. The guy who always avoids social gatherings will never get the chance to make mistakes and to learn the proper way to communicate with others. This is also why two different persons could do the same thing for the same number of years but have totally different skill levels (see also Overcomming the fear of making mistakes)
  • 3) Twisting the facts: You might think that people who give up say something like "OK, i gave up" but actually giving up can happen in much more complicated ways. One popular example of giving up is twisting the facts so that you don't blame yourself when you stop trying. "I discovered that i am not lucky", "If only i was a bit taller" and "I am not talented" are all phrases that people use to twist facts to allow themselves to give up without feeling guilty. A person who believes that he can't develop social skills because he lacks a certain gene or because he isn't lucky will never develop them even if you allowed him to socialize for 50 years
  • 4) Depending on intuition: While intuition might help you in some situations still there are other one that require deep acquired knowledge. You can't depend on intuition to disarm a bomb else you will get yourself killed. Learning is sometimes essential for certain skills to be learned. For example you might spend years trying to make people love you and your methods might not work just because you don't know enough about the psychology of love (see my book How to make someone fall in love with you). In other words, trying to develop a skill without properly educating yourself about it is like flying an airplane without reading its manual

How mistakes lead to success

Back in 2006 when i first started this site we were making very little money. After 2 years of depending on ads to make money we realized that this was a fatal mistake and so we started to sell products.

Some of the products failed because we made the mistake of not researching the market needs well so we started analyzing people's needs first then we launched new products.

After sometime we realized that we made many mistakes in the design of the website that made its usage more difficult so we worked on fixing these mistakes. Later we discovered that we were making a mistake for years which is marketing the site to the wrong people so we started to market it to the right ones.

After hundreds of mistakes and hundreds of improvements 2knowmyself took off and made me a dot com millionaire. As a result they invited me to Tedx to talk about my success story.

My talk at Tedx at bibliotheca alexandrina, Egypt

Had i never made those mistakes that site would have never made it
Had i avoided trying all together not to make mistakes i would have never been successful
Had i remained in my comfort zone you would have never heard of me

Success in life is all about making mistakes, changing your strategy, improving your skills until you become perfect at what you do.

I have managed to become a self made millionaire at the age of 28. This didn't happen by chance because i already wrote that goal down five years before i accomplished it. Becoming rich is not about luck, starting big or being intelligent but its all about having certain beliefs about money and life.

In The Ultimate guide to becoming rich i will teach you everything that you need to know in order to become rich.

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How to make someone fall in love with you.
Based on the psychology of falling in love

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