3 Questions To Ask Yourself When You Make A Mistake

growth tips mistakes questions Nov 25, 2018

How do you question yourself?

What are the words that you use in your quiet moments when it is just you and your thoughts? How do you look at experiences that you have had in your life? Tony Robbins asks his famous question: “Look at the worst thing that’s ever happened to you and ask, 'how is this the best thing that’s ever happened to me?'" You get what you focus on, and if you’re asking "why did this happen to me", or "why am I so unlucky?” you're focusing on the negative. When you say something negative it reinforces negative responses. The brain works like that.

You have a choice to decide if you want to see the good, the lesson, or the bad in your experience. When I was going through my depression I had a long list of bad things that were going on. I was divorced after an unhealthy marriage, my friend started sleeping with a guy I had been dating, my grandmother died, I got into legal issues, I got a blood clot in my arm and was on bedrest and out of work, my new boyfriend ghosted me, my dad wasn’t well, and I got pink eye. I felt like such a victim and every time something new happened it just added to my negative mentality that I felt trapped in. Then I sprained my ankle and something amazing happened. The way I looked at everything changed. Suddenly, in the emergency room I had an "aha" moment. I realized how much power I had over what was going on in my life. I finally understood that everything that had been put in front of me was a lesson, and since I wasn’t listening I kept getting more lessons! I finally understood that I had to be my own knight in shining armor and stop waiting for someone else to come and save me. That shift in my thinking changed my whole future, and strangely enough bad things stopped happening.

You have the power to create destruction or growth opportunities. The choice is yours, but it’s the questions that will frame which way you go.

1. What could I have done differently to get a better outcome?

There are certain moments where you cannot have total control, but there are other areas where you can. Look at the things that you can control and then look at how you could have done something differently. Don’t judge yourself; we do the best we can with the knowledge we have at that time. Now that you have experience you may know better next time of what to do differently. There is always something we can tweak.

2. What skills/education would help?

It’s always important to focus on learning and growth. Maybe it’s time to take a class on improving self-esteem or building healthy relationships. Clients are always amazed at how much further they can go with our help than on their own. When we pay special attention to different aspects of our lives we have a better ability to learn, grow and find opportunity for new knowledge.

3. What lesson do I choose to learn from this failure?

When something goes right or wrong you decide how you are going to act. Will you feel that you aren’t smart enough and give up? Will you push away other opportunities because you made a mistake on this one? Henry David Thoreau said, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.” Are you going to see the lesson and give yourself credit for admitting a mistake and, working towards change and then letting it go? The choice is yours!