You often hear the expression “we learn from our mistakes" Well, in most instances that is a load of garbage. The only thing mistakes tend to do for most people is reinforce what a “useless, hopeless, no-good waste of space they really are, who got tricked into trying something they knew they could not do. " Sound familiar?
Rather, you learn from reflecting on your mistakes. More specifically you learn from reflecting on what you did wrong, why it went so badly, if indeed it did go badly, and (here's the learning part) what you could do differently in the future. With an appropriate level of self-esteem you will learn to stop using those times of reflection as a chance to pay yourself out and turn them into constructive learning experiences that will be of use to you when next you are confronted with a similar situation.
One simple way to learn from your mistakes is to resolve that “if ever a similar opportunity arises in the future I will approach it this way rather than the way I did. Now, that might seem a bit awkward to remember so two simple words you can carry around with you, no problems. Two simple words to stop you wallowing in self put down.
They are …. "next time". Next time I do this, I will…. Next time I meet that person…. . Next time I come across this type of problem ……Can you see how that would be helpful to stop the wallowing and self recrimination and, instead use the situation as a learning experience. I use it all the time, but hey, the choice as to whether or not you use them, is yours.
Graham Hunt is the founder and Thinker-in-Residence of The Ultimate Success Centre, an organization developed to resource an environment where those who choose can discover and develop towards their full potential. Part of the way Graham is doing that is through his website The Ultimate Success Site Drop by and visit anytime.