Mistakes happen.  And sometimes we’re the ones who make them.  Make mistakes consistently enough and some people start to feel as if that’s just what they do.  And they may even feel like a failure.

Instead of feeling that way, here’s a point of view that I’d like you try on, in anything you do, there is no failure, only feedback.  Think about that for just a moment.  What does that mean to you?

Of course, most of us would prefer to not make mistakes, but they happen and the key is to learn from them so you don’t have to keep making the same mistake over and over again.  Top performers, don’t focus on past mistakes, they get the learning and move on.  This is a key distinction between the top performers and the average and below-average performers.  Spending your time feeling racked with guilt or regret about mistakes in the past, keeps you focused on the wrong thing…the past.

A better strategy is to learn from the past, not obsess over it and then keep focused on the future.  Having a forward thinking mentality is a much more resourceful state, because we can’t change the past.  So it doesn’t make a lot of sense to live in the past, does it?  That kind of thinking is a no-win game.  The future is the only thing that you can change and we create our futures by choosing what to focus on and do in the moment.

So, instead I’d like to encourage you to look to the past and present for feedback and then you can course correct as needed in the future.  This is much more empowering.  If there is a part of your life that’s not going according to plan, make note of recent feedback you have received in this area and ask yourself, “What is there to learn here?”  Look for course corrections that you can begin to implement right now in order to get things on-track.  And remember, course corrections are a normal part of life, because there is no failure, only feedback.

John Ryan

Host of Key Conversations for Leaders Podcast, Executive Coach, Consultant, and Trainer

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