“At some moment in time, you will transition from the shame of your mistakes into pride for the lessons you’ve learned from them!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
There’s a second version that goes like this!
“At some moment in time, you will transition from the shame you have for the mistakes you have made, into pride for your ability to share the lessons that you have learned from them!”
As they say, mistakes are good for you! But as with any cliche, it’s what you do with them that matters!
No one individual is perfect; no perfectionist is absolute. We’ve all been there – a moment in time in our business or personal life for which we would like to have a do-over. But the nature of time means that we can’t; no matter how much we might like to, we can’t erase our yesterdays – we can only paint our tomorrow’s.
That’s why I often find myself going to the first variation of this phrase when talking with people who are struggling to figure out how to capitalize on the cracks in their innovation culture – they need some context! Or, I’ll use the second variation of the phrase with people who are new to the unique struggles in their personal lives – they need some hope!
So how do you capitalize and move on from your mistakes? How do you turn shame into pride? How can you best transform the regret for where you have been into your optimism going forward? A number of things might work!
Face reality – face your shame! Accept it. It’s done. There is no do-over – there is only the next things you can do.
Turn it around. Rather than viewing it as a burden to carry, turn into an asset for going forward. What can you learn from where you’ve been, and how might that guide you into tomorrow?
Banish regret. When shame consumes you, recognize it for what it is, and work hard to turn it into that into positive pathway. Focus on your smile, not your frown.
Feed yourself with optimism. Nurture your soul with the potential for tomorrow rather than consuming yourself with the challenges of yesterday.
Turn forward. Stop thinking about where you’ve been – think about where you are going!
Find the small wins. Don’t expect ‘big’ success all at once – recognize that moving forward is often the accumulation of many small bits of small success.
Reward yourself. Remind yourself of your progress with small rewards. Buy a cookie, hug a friend, chase the sunrise.
Remind yourself. Mark your progress. Every single moment going forward, not back, is a win. Every single day is a victory. Remember that!
Scale back the pain. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Everyone makes mistakes. You aren’t unique – you aren’t special. Accept your humility.
Find strength in numbers. Understand you are not unique. Guess what – everyone fails! Everyone has shame!
Seek hope. Don’t get stuck in the past – glue yourself to tomorrow!
Find support. Guess what – everyone has been there – and their own lessons can help you.
Watch others. Failure – it’s all around you – you might have been so focused on your own that you never noticed it before. Learn from what you see elsewhere.
Talk to others. You aren’t alone – find comfort in numbers.
Share your story! Because when you can, you have already achieved the greatest of success – confidence in your tomorrow, and inspiration to help others!
Mistakes? When you think about it, they become assets – not liabilities. Understand that, and you’ve got everything you need!