Letting Go of Career “Mistakes”

I must be on a cleaning kick.mentalclutter_#9

In my last blog post, I wrote about how cleaning the clutter out of my home office helped me feel reenergized and inspired. Today I want to talk about cleaning a different kind of clutter: mental clutter.

Are you someone who dwells on mistakes?

Do you have a hard time letting things go?

Do you tell yourself things like:

  • I should have followed up with that client sooner…
  • I wish I hadn’t spent money on (fill in the blank)…
  • If only I had gotten that promotion (or fill in the blank)…

You probably know that it isn’t productive to hold on to negative feelings and thoughts, but it can be hard to let things go.

But it is important to do so. Discarding unhelpful emotional baggage can help you move forward. Beating yourself up over a perceived missed opportunity or seemingly bad decision won’t lead to anything positive and it certainly won’t bring in more business and career success!

So today, I ask you to get rid of unhelpful emotional beliefs you carry about your perceived mistakes—give them a toss and start anew!

I want you to realize that both your past successes and missteps have led you to this moment right now, where you are uniquely and exactly equipped and positioned for your next great thing!

Reframing your career and life missteps can be healing and can help you develop a sense of progression over time; a sort of stepping stone approach to thinking about where you’ve been and where you’re going.

If you feel like you get stuck with beliefs and thoughts that don’t serve you, try the following short exercise, which is designed to help you examine your past and let go of nagging negative thoughts.

Ask yourself: 

1. How do I forgive myself for mistakes I have made in my life?

2. Think of a career misstep. What feels like a mistake about this experience?

3. How can I learn from it?

4. What does dropping the baggage do for me?

5. How can I forgive myself now for this experience and move on to make room for what I truly want?

So, the next time you experience a misstep, mistake, or misunderstanding, remember to take a deep breath and remain calm, and see the opportunity to lead and learn. Your successes and your mistakes make you who are, and lead to your next big opportunity.

Remember: The way forward is through.

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2 Responses to Letting Go of Career “Mistakes”

  1. James Riina June 4, 2013 at 5:25 am #

    Thank you Merideth – you are on-point as always!

  2. Merideth Mehlberg June 4, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    Thanks James – this is such an important point. We are so good at overthinking and beating ourselves up! Instead of overthinking, the key is massive action.

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