Kelly Clarkson once sang:
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller”
It might have been meant to be a love song but I look at it as a really great career lesson from this year.Because don’t you think that the most important career lessons are the ones you learn from your so called failures or mistakes? Most of us have a fear of failure or a fear of making mistakes. But instead of being embarrassed by your mistakes, look at them your investment paid for valuable lessons.Don’t get me wrong I don’t like the feeling of making a mistake, but throughout this year I have seen how they have helped me to make bigger steps in my career. So now I see them as opportunities to grow and improve.
So how have they helped my career?
1. Every failure or mistake was an opportunity to re-examine my career goals.
Am I on the right path? Am I doing the right things with the right intentions? Why did I do this? All these questions are so important to ask when you feel like you’ve failed or made a mistake. It makes you think about your true goals, passions and motivations. So in this way they are a good career guide. So… This year I launched a training program but then when it didn’t get the response I wanted, I re-examined it and realized it wasn’t part of where I was going anyway.
2. They can make you stronger.
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Yes ladies…..but only if you learn from your mistakes.
I noticed with every mistake a lesson learned. What are my insecurities for instance? What was revealed? Sometimes you think things were put in the past but you repeat the same mistake until you learn from them. For instance, I can get overly enthusiastic about stuff and can’t keep my mouth shut. This year I learned you can’t always say everything to everyone. Haha I am 46 and still learning. So I decided to make some lifestyle changes so that I will be sharper and more efficient next year. Guess I will be even stronger, now that I know my weakness ;-).
3. Avoid bigger mistakes.
As a kid my little brother got too close to the iron board and was burned badly. After that we were always extra careful near iron boards. And this incident thought us as kids a really big lesson. For me getting burned by one organization meant being more authentically myself for the others. It was a humbling experience but without this setback I would never have realized not every organization was meant for me to work with.
As the famous basketball player Michael Jordan once said “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
So tell me, what are your top 3 mistakes or failures this year and what have you learned from them?