We’ve all been there. Those moments when your behavior or performance is less than stellar. When you strut across an open bar not realizing your skirt is tucked into your underwear. When you attempt a feat of athletic skill only to end up in a firm faceplant on a gravel road while the Adonis or Aphrodite of your dreams looks on. The reply all button on a private email, the off color comment, the costly mistake on your quarterly report. Yeah, we’ve all been there.

What sets the hero apart is how they react to those less than heroic moments. No two heroes handle a bad situation the same way, and what works best for you depends on your comfort level and the severity of your infraction, but for those moments you don’t know what to do here are a few ideas:

  • Take a Bow: Make light of the situation and accept the sarcastic and well deserved applause. Whether you like it or not, your mistake just made someone’s day. Might as well take credit.
  • Assume Responsibility: Heroes aren’t perfect. In fact, it’s the imperfections that we love most. When you screw up–and yes you will on many occasions–accept responsibility and do everything in your power to rectify the situation. We respect those who falter and remedy the situation with grace more than the perfect specimen who never makes a mistake.
  • Move On: When something goes wrong, don’t dwell on the situation. Obsessing only makes things worse and keeps you from moving forward to bigger and better things.
  • Learn From It: We don’t learn from our success. We learn from our failures. Assess the situation with an objective eye and see which insights can be gleaned from your misstep.

Above all, take your bad moments with grace and keep plowing ahead. We can’t be perfect all the time and lets face it. Perfect is boring, and heroes don’t do boring.