Remember the lesson, not the mistake

We all make mistakes in our lives and often we can learn something from them.  But which one stands out most in our minds? The Mistake or the lesson learned?

Mistakes are a part of life.

No one is perfect.  Mistakes are normal and are expected, after all we are human beings.  The good news is that we can learn a lesson from most of our mistakes, the bad news is that we often remember the mistake more vividly than we do the lesson.

There is a logical reason why we can recall our mistakes more than our lessons.

In our society where we tend to focus more on the negative than the positive (for proof just watch any newscast), it is understandable why we can easily remember the mistakes we had made in the past.  We can recall with ease the embarrassing moments from years gone by and the epic fails that we all have experienced at one time or another as vividly as if they just happened.

Sadly, our friends like to remind us of our mistakes, epic fails and embarrassing moments.  They will do in by teasing, ribbing or joking about it.  Of course, when our friends remind us of our past, we may force a smile on our faces and fake a sincere laugh while inside we may feel pain.

When you combine our cultural norm of dwelling on the negative, add in how some like to gossip, our friends reminding us of our mistakes, and heaven help us with the ease of video recording epic fails and meltdown with our cell phones and posting them on social media where they can live on forever. It is no surprise that we can remember our mistakes with ease while the lessons we have learned are harder to recall.

The danger of only remembering your failures.

Always remembering all your mistakes, your embarrassing moments and epic fails are not doing you any good.  Replaying and/or reliving those moments do not improve your self-confidence, your self-esteem or even your own self-image.

If you are stuck always thinking about your failures, you are not setting yourself up for success, you are only setting yourself up for more failures.

It is time to retrain your mind.

Changing the way you think is never an easy task.  After all, the through process you are currently using you have probably been using for years if not decades.  If you want a life that is not destined to bring you more failure, then you must embrace change and work hard for it.

Recently, I suffered an epic fail.  The incident cost me a lot – both of professional contacts and some collateral damage to my reputation.  There are and will be long lasting impact from the incident and I still feel the pain from the wound.

The incident, although was not intended to lead to an epic fail, was primarily my fault.  As soon as the explosion began I took full responsibility for my actions that contributed to the mistake.  Before all the fallout had become apparent, I stopped blaming myself for what had went wrong and started to look for lessons that I could learn from this experience.

It has been nearly two months since my epic fail.  I can not tell you that I no longer feel hurt by what transpired.  I can tell you that I can more readily remember the lessons I learned that will serve me in the future if a similar situation occurs than I can recall the epic fail.

I know from making the lesson more important than remembering the fail, I am setting myself up for future success and fewer failures.