What did you do to avoid that same failure in the future

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What did you do to avoid that same failure in the future

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5 Ways To Turn Your Mistake Into A Valuable Life LessonAmy MorinFormer ContributorOpinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.Psychotherapist and international bestselling mental strength authorNew! Follow this author to improve your content experience. Got it!Jul 17, 2017,01:44pm EDT|

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  • Self-discipline is like a muscle. Each time you delay gratification and make a healthy choice, you grow mentally stronger.
  • Self-discipline is like a muscle. Each time you delay gratification and make a healthy choice, you grow mentally stronger.
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Have you ever found yourself saying, Ill never do that again, only to find yourself doing the exact same thing just a short time later? If so, youre not alone. Its likely all of us have repeated some of our mistakes at one time or another.

But making the same mistakes over and over can be costly in more ways than one. Perhaps your team has lost faith in you because your behavior doesnt match your words. Or maybe your errors have cost you or someone else a lot of money.

The good news is, you can take steps to learn from your mistakes. Then, instead of repeating them again, youll gain valuable wisdom that will help you in the future.

Here are five ways to learn from your mistakes:

1. Acknowledge Your Errors

So often, leaders say things like, Im sorry you felt that way, or Its unfortunate it didnt work out. But blaming other people or minimizing your responsibility isnt helpful to anyone.

Before you can learn from your mistakes, you have to accept full responsibility for your role in the outcome. That can be uncomfortable sometimes, but until you can say, I messed up, you arent ready to change.

2. Ask Yourself Tough Questions

While you dont want to dwell on your mistakes, reflecting on them can be productive. Ask yourself a few tough questions:

What went wrong?

What could I do better next time?

What did I learn from this?

Write down your responses and you'll see the situation a little more clearly. Seeing your answers on paper can help you think more logically about an irrational or emotional experience.

3. Make APlan

Beating yourself up for your mistakes wont help you down the road. Its important to spend the bulk of your time thinking about how to do better in the future.

Make a plan that will help you avoid making a similar mistake. Be as detailed as possible but remain flexible since your plan may need to change.

Whether you find an accountability partner or you track your progress on a calendar, find a way to hold yourself accountable. Keep in mind that what works for one person might not work with someone else.

4. Make It Harder To Mess Up

Dont depend on willpower alone to prevent you from taking an unhealthy shortcut or from giving into immediate gratification. Increase your chances of success by making it harder to mess up again.

As a psychotherapist, Ive worked with people who have found some creative ways to become more disciplined. I once worked with a woman who blew her budget every month because she shopped online late whenever she was bored.

To prevent herself from having instant access to her cards, she froze her credit cards in a big block of ice. Shed have to wait for the ice to melt to get the number. Whenever she found herself trying to thaw the block of ice, she would pause and realize how ridiculous the situation was and shed stop short of spending money she didnt have.

5. Create AList Of Reasons Why You Dont Want To Make The Mistake Again

Sometimes, it only takes one weak moment to indulge in something you shouldnt. Creating a list of all the reasons why you should stay on track could help you stay self-disciplined, even during the toughest times.

I once worked with a woman who wanted to stop talking to her ex-boyfriend. She knew he wasnt good for her but she couldnt resist answering the phone whenever he called.

She created a list of all the reasons why she shouldnt talk to himit was bad for her mental health, they were toxic together, etc. She laminated the list and taped it to the back cover of her phone. Whenever he called, shed turn her phone over and begin to read over the list. It helped her resist the temptation to answer the phone.

Self-discipline is like a muscle. Each time you delay gratification and make a healthy choice, you grow mentally stronger.

Move Forward With Your New-Found Wisdom

Sometimes, mistakes arent just one big blunder. Instead, theyre a series of little choices that lead to failure. So pay attention to your errors, no matter how big or how small they might seem. And recognize that each mistake can be an opportunity to build mental muscleand become better.Follow me onLinkedIn.Check outmywebsite.

Amy Morin

Amy Morin

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