Saturday, February 21, 2009

The 10 Steps to Learning From Your Past Mistakes

I've written before about how I strongly believe that in life you should have no regrets. Quite simply you cannot change what has gone before so why waste time regretting what you cannot alter? But that's not to say that you should ignore the things you have done in the past that went wrong or those occasions when you made mistakes. Instead you should always be prepared to learn from them and so take something positive from all of your experiences.

So I'm going to ask you to look back, just for a moment. Bring to mind something from your past where things went wrong or you believe you made a mistake or failed to achieve what you wanted to do. It may even be that something continues to play on your mind and so possibly prevents you from doing today the things that you really desire. You may have to go back to your childhood or it could just as easily be something that happened in the last week that it is still really bugging you.

Whatever it is be open and honest with yourself and then follow these 10 simple steps:

Step 1

Write down exactly what happened with as much detail as you can. Be precise and try not to let any feelings you have about the incident cause you to edit or leave out important facts.

Step 2

Define what part you had in the incident. What actions did you take, were they deliberate acts, or were they things you were persuaded or even forced to do by someone else?

Step 3

Define who else was involved and what they actually did. It's important to be completely honest and, for instance, identify whether someone may have prevented you from doing something or perhaps tried to stop you from taking a particular course of action.

Step 4

Ask yourself truthfully what you could have done differently that would have resulted in a better outcome. Be thorough because it may only be a little thing but it could make all the difference in the future.

Step 5

Identify what anyone else involved could have done differently and what you could have done to help them to do so. Be prepared to admit where you were at fault including by maybe just standing by and letting something happen.

Step 6

Define what the best outcome would have been for everyone concerned.

Step 7

Having followed the steps so far, now write a plan for how you would achieve the desired outcome in the event of the incident occurring today. Be clear and concise in the steps you would take and how you would interact with anyone else involved.

Step 8

Write a list of all the things you have learned by carrying out this exercise. Once again you must ensure you are honest with yourself and don't ignore things that might be less then palatable to you.

Step 9

Identify how the things you have learned can help you to achieve the goals you have and what additional things you need. Establish clearly what you have learned about your strengths and weaknesses and how you can act upon them.

Step 10

Write a clear plan as to what you are going to do in order to put to use what you have learned. Only by setting and following well thought out, well-planned, and written goals will you achieve what you want in life.

We all make mistakes and get things wrong but by having a genuine desire to learn from the events in the past you can truly take advantage and move forward. Don't let the mistakes of your past spoil your future.

By Tony Hall

This article was written by Tony Hall who runs his own business dedicated to helping individuals develop their personal and business skills. You can learn more about how to develop your own life skills and get your complimentary copy of "The Process of Success" by signing up for his weekly newsletter at:

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