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Made a mistake

"I think I messed up."

Talk to someone

There are a range of organisations which can help with specific issues. Click here for some advice on seeking help and for a list of organisations and their contact details. Support

How to deal with a mistake

  • Keep calm: As with all situations that cause you anxiety or stress, the key thing is to try to keep calm.
  • Try immediately to relax: you may even find some deep breathing exercises useful
  • In most situations it is better as soon as possible to explain to your colleague or principal what has happened
  • Many people make mistakes, it is just that – a mistake
  • Think about whether it is actually a mistake, or is it just that you are being blamed by someone who does not like a situation that has occurred?


  • Calmly write down what has happened and how the situation came about
  • Think about who you are going to tell
  • Can you tell a senior colleague first and ask for their help in resolving the matter?
  • Approach the relevant person and calmly explain what happened – you can use your note for this
  • If possible, demonstrate that you have identified how the mistake occurred and what you might do differently in the future
  • Most people when approached with a mistake will want to work with you quickly to resolve it

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The information and resource packs on this website are designed to help you and your colleagues to work as a community for better wellbeing and professional resilience. If you want to provide feedback on these resources, or to get involved in promoting wellbeing please get in touch.

Get in touch Policy & practice

It can be difficult to make a living from law and it can be pressurised and demanding. Competition and an adversarial approach to everything can make collegiate relationships difficult. This website aims to provide you with the knowledge to manage these stressors, make emotionally informed, wise professional decisions and thrive in your chosen profession.

A simple expression that sums up wellbeing is ‘travelling well’

2 in 3 barristers feel that showing signs of stress equals weakness