“How could I have been so stupid?”

I hear those words – constantly!

How many times have you tried to do something new and didn’t get it quite right? Have you gone back and analyzed a situation to discover that you made a mistake and could have handled it differently? Have you ever competed for something and you didn’t win?

Mistakes and failures happen to everyone. How we respond says a lot about us.

It’s sad when I listen to people who:

  • Judge themselves very harshly for not knowing better
  • Are not willing to try because they know they won’t have a perfect outcome
  • Become overly critical of themselves and feel as if they are a loser

The most successful outcomes I have seen, when people make mistakes or experience failure is when they analyze what happened, learn from it and believe in themselves to be able to move on.

The next time you find yourself in this situation, replace your negative self-talk with some critical thinking.


  • What was the desired outcome?
  • What was the actual outcome?
  • What resources were available to you ($$, guidance, tools to work with)?
  • Where did it break down?
  • How do you prevent this from recurring in the future?


  • What did you learn from this experience?
  • What did you learn about yourself?
  • What did you do well?
  • Set an intention for yourself to go to the next level and determine a way to get there.
  • As you build skills and/or confidence – record your outcomes


  • Know that you are capable
  • Accept the outcome for what it was based on your analysis
  • Make the necessary changes to prevent recurrence
  • Don’t judge yourself negatively

Just because you have experienced extreme criticism, ridicule or judgement from others when you made a mistake, it’s important to remember that people who judge others, often are judging themselves.

You do not have to carry the burden of someone else’s mean and cruel comments, belittling you when you fall versus offering you a helping hand. People like that are not worthy of your time.

Surround yourself with non-judgemental and supportive friends and family. When I found that in my own life – wow – what a difference. I had a safe space to share my most vulnerable thoughts and fears and knew I would be held in high regard. It was only then that I could grow and learn versus feeling a need to defend myself.

We are not perfect.  We all need to know that we matter – in good times and bad. NO ONE ‘deserves’ to be spoken to harshly – even when they make a mistake.

Start with you. Focus on learning and what you will do differently after each mistake and failure. Every negative is a learning opportunity. Every negative can easily become a positive.

If you read books on successful leaders in any field, you will find that they made many mistakes which only helped them get stronger and wiser.  Here is a little inspiration for you:

Never stop believing in yourself!