Professionalism, even expertise, is not about avoiding mistakes. I can guarantee that, whatever your profession, you will make mistakes. Professionalism is about your behavior after those mistakes occur. Do you hide them, get defensive, deny the errors or do you recognize the goof, gather helpful information and work to correct it?

Mistakes make us sensitive to our vulnerabilities and imperfections. It is never fun to make a mistake and be seen as flawed but that is reality.  In my field of clinical psychology, it is especially important that we remain open to examine mistakes that we make.  Openness is the behavior that models the best attitude for all the people we work with.  I’m sure this is true in all fields; it’s just that, in psychology, we examine and examine and examine.  I hope that all this examination also gives us the ability to enjoy doing things right! When we succeed and our work goes well, let’s enjoy it!

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