Mistakes. You’ve likely made a few in your life. How did you handle them? How you view your mistakes is key to moving forward in a successful way.
Starting a new project is energizing and exciting. You put in time and effort. You visualize a successful outcome. What’s your strategy when your project falls short of your envisioned success or even completely fails?
Your perception is essential to how you turn ‘lemons into lemonade’.
Being ‘poor me’ holds you back. Change your perception with these strategies instead:
You’re not a failure because your project wasn’t successful.
You’re actually in pretty good company. Einstein, Isaac Newton, Edison – even The Beatles failed many times before their experiments or music succeeded. Most ‘over-night’ successes are the result of numerous attempts and endless hard work.
You need to assess what went right.
Your perception has to be what went right as opposed to what went wrong. You may be surprised at which parts of your project or the strategies you used that were actually effective and had some strength. Write those parts down. You want to remember your successes.
You need some objectivity.
Your colleagues or a professional you can talk to can help you be objective and pinpoint some of your challenges. You have to ask yourself some questions as well about the parts that didn’t go well. What if, for example, you start a program to teach people how to meditate and two people show up. Was it the method you used to advertise? Was your idea off-base? Did you target the right audience? Be objective and write down your answers. You can learn from what didn’t work.
Your personal project may have been too big.
You may have been excited and energized because it was a personal project, but you also may have underestimated the time involved or the size of it. Was the project too big? Could you have broken it down into manageable steps? Did you account for the time this project would take accurately? Look at your project again. See if you can narrow down what your issue(s) were.
You have learned something.
Your experience can have some positive aspects. You may have gained information and knowledge about an area you knew very little about. You may have gained insight about yourself and the way you work. No matter what, you now have a different understanding and perception of your project or strategy. That becomes part of your Learning Curve.
You may decide to move forward.
You now have to decide if your project or strategy is worth revamping and trying again. Or have you learned what you can and it’s time to move forward? Your decision, whatever it is, takes you forward. You did gain some positives from your experience. You did grow and gain wisdom. Reflect on these positive aspects of your experience. Bring those thoughts with you. Focus on what worked. When you stay positive you stay more energetic and it helps your creativity flow. Look back on your project or strategy as a starting point for something brilliant you are about to create and keep your Learning Curve going up!
Dr. Lori Kay