Do You learn from your mistakes?
I think it generally relies on how much of a shock or a bruise I have received the first time that dictates how fast I learn from my mistakes.
Literally, if the definition of insanity is:
“doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different outcome”,
then I was definitely guilty of such insanity for the first 20 years of my professional life.
I kept working for other organisations, whose protocols and cultures and values were not aligned to mine, without even asking if they were or were not. Eventually I broke my resilience within these misalignments and chose to design it my way and to employ myself.
In contrast I met a neighbour today, who rather white-faced said, ‘this is only the second time I’ve been out on my bike with that (pointing at his 9 month old), and I realised I didn’t even have him strapped him in!’. I think the sheer shock will prevent him from that mistake too often …..
So perhaps it IS only when our experience is shocking or deeply hurtful that we choose to make change.
I witness clients who beat themselves up for ‘not sorting ‘it’ out earlier’ when they take an overview of current professional situation. When in reality we cannot know what we do not know, and, it is the bruise or the shock that causes us to pause & take stock & to review.
What I notice is that when there is an internally punitive environment, it really puts the breaks on the career coaching process. We humans devote a significant proportion of our energy to the ‘should have’s’ we take energy away from our problem-solving capacity. It is difficult to have spontaneous creative responses to the present, when a significant part of ourselves is tangled up in ‘what we did wrong’. It is exhausting to try and move forward when much of our thinking is invested in the past.
So if we are truly to learn from our mistakes, perhaps the first step is to forgive ourselves for making them in the first place? In hindsight of course we can join the dots and see that changes in your industry sector or your organisation were afoot. At the time, realising that you were doing the best you could with what you knew, is the best way of disentangling yourself from ‘then’. This way you can free yourself and your energy up in order to make good decisions for your working future.
Try it! You might be surprised at the speed of profess you can make when you give yourself permission to move on. Give yourself a blank canvas and you can fill it with new images.
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