Failures and Mistakes

Let’s face it: failing isn’t fun. But it’s necessary if we want to get better, be better and enjoy more success in the long term! There are few important things to know about failure.

As I shared in my last blog, I use a Selfie High Five Board to post big and small wins.  This is a way to remind myself that it is important to celebrate and appreciate our successes. It can be so easy to ruminate on our failures, so it’s especially important to identify how we can keep our successes at the forefront of our minds.

Now don’t get me wrong, we shouldn’t completely avoid or ignore our mistakes altogether. We should embrace them! Reflect on them! Navigating these situations requires the proper mindset so that we can be constructive with how we think about unfortunate circumstances.  

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you consider your shortcomings:

Ask, “how big of a deal is this actually?”

If this is something that is a fairly routine occurrence that happens to all of us, you’re probably better off accepting it and moving forward! However, if it’s something more unusual or maybe something more significant, move to the next question.

Ask, “what’s the lesson?”

An extremely important step in the process is forcing yourself to step outside of your perspective and ask the objective question, “what’s the lesson?” By shifting your focus to what you can learn from the situation, you can move away from the overwhelming negative emotions and lean into a more productive process that will help you in the future. 

Still unsure what the lesson is?

If you’re struggling to identify the lesson from your situation, ask yourself four simple questions to intentionally walk through the process:

  1. What was supposed to happen?
  2. What actually happened?
  3. What caused the gap or the difference?
  4. What am I gonna do differently next time?

And this is how we should approach balancing our reactions to success and failure! Additionally, we must also keep in mind that the road to success is never easy and no one can do it alone. It’s always okay to look for an outside perspective from family and friends. All in all, having something like a Selfie High Five Board reminds you that yes, you’ve made a mistake, but you’ve also had a lot of victories worth commemorating! Welcome that with open arms! Celebration plus reflection equals a constructive and happy life.  

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About Amy Lafko

As a Physical Therapist, Amy spent years in school learning best practices for patient care and how to put the patient first. Like so many technically skilled clinicians, she advanced to a leadership role. Spending 20+ years in operational leadership, she had an epiphany: Putting the customer first isn’t the path to success or fulfillment. Rather, the most successful organizations and practices put their people first – and exceptional customer care, profitability, and effectiveness naturally followed.