The most telling moments in life happen after we make a mistake or screw up in some manner. For many of us, those are terrifying moments, because mistakes or anything less than perfection was not acceptable in our homes growing up. Any type of criticism is devastating because it cuts all the way through to the heart. It is not that I lost, it is “I am a loser”. Or it is not that I failed, it is that “I am a failure”. Failing at something and being a failure are not the same things. One is an event (failing) and the other is an identity (being a failure).
I tell all my clients that the most successful people in life fail the most. These same people also succeed the most, because they try the most. The most successful people in life are not scared, knotted up or trying to avoid failure.
The most successful people use a simple three-question formula when things go wrong. They ask:
1. What happened? (I was late to the meeting)
2. What can I learn from it? (need to take a different route in the morning)
3. What is way forward? (write up a good summary of the meeting and move on)
They do not spend their time ruminating over the failure or unnecessarily beating themselves up. The analyze it, learn from it and move on. As fathers, we need to model this technique and then teach it to our children.« Back to Blog