Pain + Reflection = Progress
Author and investment guru, Ray Dalio, strongly believes that we should not fear mistakes and instead use them as opportunities to learn and grow. He offers the following formula as one of his many life/work principles: Pain + Reflection = Progress. He says that our pain/discomfort are just signals that we are working through something that is important to us. If we can embrace our mistakes and reflect on what went wrong, then we can arrive to the pleasure (learning) that is waiting on the other side.
Ray also talks about the two main reasons why he thinks we make poor decisions: our ego and blind spots. In regard to our ego, he says that we may fail to seek out or accept the guidance of others because of the desire to preserve our own self-esteem and credibility. We want to believe we have all the right answers.
In discussing our blind spots, Ray says that we tend to be lazy in acquiring the full spectrum of information we need to make good decisions. He says we make too many assumptions, rather than seeking out the perspectives of other wiser, more "believable" experts. We also allow ourselves to be guided solely on emotion/intuition, rather than a combo of logic/reason and intuition.
In both cases, we are letting our emotions interfere with good decision-making. If we can instead admit that we don't know something and seek out the information we need to help us make more rational/well-informed decisions, then we will create more positive outcomes in the choices we make & actions we take.