Using Stumbling Blocks as Stepping Stones

Everyone makes mistakes – and the busier you are, the more mistakes you will make. The only question is “How well and how effectively do you deal with the inevitable ups and downs of life?”

You’ve got to learn how to benefit from your mistakes and how to remain positive in the face of adversity. To get started, here are five ideas to consider:

Let the Light Shine In

This is achieved through the simple exercise of self-disclosure. To truly understand yourself and to stop being troubled by things that may have happened in your past, you must be able to open up to at least one person. You have to be able to get those things off your chest. You must rid yourself of those thoughts and feelings by revealing them to someone who won’t make you feel guilty or ashamed of what has happened.

Expect a Lot Out of Life

There are two ways to look at the world: the benevolent way and the malevolent way. People with a malevolent or negative worldview take a victim stance, seeing life as a continuous succession of problems and a process of unfairness and oppression. They don’t expect a lot and they don’t get much. When things go wrong, they shrug their shoulders and passively accept that this is the way life is and there isn’t anything they can do to make it better.

On the other hand, people with a benevolent or positive worldview see the world around them as filled with opportunities and possibilities. They believe that everything happens as part of a great process designed to make them successful and happy. They approach their lives, their work, and their relationships with optimism, cheerfulness, and a general attitude of positive expectations. They expect a lot, and they are seldom disappointed.

Flex Your Mental Muscles

When you develop the skill of learning from your mistakes, you become the kind of person who welcomes obstacles and setbacks as opportunities to flex your mental muscles and move ahead. You look at problems as rungs on the ladder of success that you grab onto as you pull your way higher.

One of the most common ways of dealing with a mistake is to fail to accept it when it occurs. This is invariably fatal to high achievement.

Cut Your Losses

Statistically speaking, 70 percent of all the decisions we make will be wrong. That’s an average. This means that some people will fail more than 70 percent of the time, and some will fail less.

It is hard to believe that most of the decisions we make could turn out to be wrong in some way. If that is the case, how can our society continue to function at all? But the fact is that our society, our families, our companies, and our relationships continue to survive and thrive because intelligent people tend to cut their losses and minimize their mistakes.

It is only when people refuse to accept that they have made a bad choice or decision – and prolong the consequences by sticking to it – that a mistake becomes extremely expensive and hurtful.

Learn From Your Mistakes

Learning from your mistakes – using them to better yourself and improve the quality of your thinking – is an essential skill that enables you to develop the resilience to be a master of change rather than a victim of change. The person who recognizes that he has made a mistake and changes direction the fastest is the one who will win in an age of increasing information, technology, and competition.

By remaining fast on your feet, you will be able to out-play and out-position your competition. You will become a creator of circumstances rather than a creature of circumstances.

Here are three steps you can take immediately to put the above ideas into action.

1. Imagine that your biggest problem or challenge in life has been sent to you at this moment to help you, to teach you something valuable. What could it be?

2. Be willing to cut your losses and walk away if you have made a mistake or a bad choice. Accept that you are not perfect, that you can’t be right all the time… and then get on with your life.

3. Learn from every mistake you make. Write down every lesson it contains. Use your mistakes in the present as stepping stones to great success in the future.

[Ed. Note: Brian Tracy is the world’s most listened to audio author on personal and business success and one of America’s leading authorities on the development of human potential and personal effectiveness. With Brian’s Flight Plan, you can discover how to achieve more, faster than you ever dreamed possible. You also receive 2 BONUS CDS. Learn more here.]

Comment on this article