As you look back on your life, what did you learn the most from, your failures or your successes?
Find the most recent copy of your résumé and open it. Take time and read through it. I have a question that might sound odd. Do you have any failures listed on it? I already know the answer and your response, “No I do not and why should I?”
We do not want to display our failures to others; especially those who we want to give us a job. Typically we only want other people to know about the times that we succeeded rather than the times we came up short. We do all that we can to keep from letting other people know about our biggest failures. For some reason we think that people would view us differently if they knew that we had failed.
Embracing that we all make mistakes is paramount. Everyone makes them, but the person who can learn from their mistakes gives them a competitive edge in this race called life. They are able to see what they should have done. They find ways to improve themselves as a result which opens more doors than their mistakes shut.
More often than not, our idea of “learning” from failure is storing it as far back in our mind as humanly possible. We do not want to think about it. That is completely understandable. No one wants to dwell on their mistakes. We want to remember the times we won, not the times we lost. However, you will learn more from the times you tried and failed than the times you succeeded.
I want to suggest two things for you to do that have helped me learn more from my mistakes than I would have otherwise. First, make a failure résumé. To put it simply, a failure résumé is the exact opposite of your normal résumé. It is a list of past events in which you failed.
In addition to the failures, I also want you to think of missed opportunities that you should have taken. Put them on the list as well. This list is simply for you. No one else will see it unless you want them to.
After you have created the list, go back and figure out why you failed. Be forewarned, getting this answer could be difficult to figure out. The conclusion will depend on you and the event itself. Do not be disheartened if you cannot find an answer quickly. Take as much time as you need. There is no rush.
My reasoning for the failure résumé is not for you to try and relive the past that you cannot change, but rather bring to your attention to how you have progressed as a person since those events took place. Look at how your life has been altered by those events. It will help you to be able to recognize where you messed up so that you can make a better decision when a similar opportunity comes your way.
We learn more from our failures than our successes. Why, because we remember and can go back to assess where we made the mistake. They tend to stick better in our mind. Then we can rerun the event and teach ourselves how we should have responded.
Come to terms with your failures so you can move forward as a better person. Learn from your mistakes and do not repeat them unless you want the same results.
If you haven’t failed, then you haven’t tried. I would rather try and fail than never try at all.