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Mistakes & Failings: why and what to do.

Updated: Mar 10, 2021

"Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes." Oscar Wilde

Indeed it is far easier and vastly more satisfying, acknowledging & 'showcasing' our accomplishments or wins rather than our mistakes or failures.

Admittedly, no one is ever perfect and those who claim to make few mistakes; often are

- let's be honest - usually pretty pompous and not super fun to be around.

Because, they do make mistakes, but refuse to admit them; thus never learning a damn thing.

“Wisdom comes from making mistakes, having the courage to face them, and make adjustments moving forward based upon the knowledge acquired through those experiences.” Ken Poirot

Not only acknowledging mistakes, but bringing them to attention as if they were spectacular accomplishments; is something most people find hard to do. Embarrassment instead of pride; it will knock you down and drag you all the way somewhere near and around that place of true horror,

'Rock Bottom'.

Here's the thing though, not one person I have ever met - including myself - has ever found this realization - until they have found themself there.

Then, ideally - the goal is to bring yourself back out with new tools and ideas and to grow from where you are to get to where you want to be.

More importantly - not allowing yourself to find your way back down, and to continue growing as a person and never be the older version of yourself.

That person is not as smart or wise or determined as you - they haven't lived enough life or made enough mistakes.

We can find inspiration in so many humans whom we have watched rise up from nothing to having seemingly everything. Those people who seem inherently blessed with abilities we do not have or have built gazillion dollar companies from a simple idea.

But these people didn't just fall into their success; they had to fight for it.

They had to make mistakes and learn from them - and make a lot to learn a lot.

Just look at your favorite celebrity, entrepreneur or athlete - I could go on, but you get the idea.

I took some time to reflect and study some modern and historical humans. I wanted to share 10 of the biggest 'failings' I have noticed. More importantly, what can be learned from and how to avoid them.

We are who we are and who we will become - not in spite of our mistakes...but because of them.

You can either let them be the boulder that keeps you down, or the stepping stone and a building block to a better version of you.

The choice is yours.


1. Giving Up

Giving up too early is more the real issue. Sometimes you have to be like good old Kenny Rogers, and 'know when to hold um, and know when to fold um'. However, giving up without examination.and reevaluation; that's just a lack of resourcefulness and not due to lack of resources.

2. Examination

When things happen and we want to give up or move on; failing to take a step back and examine the situation as a whole - is what leads us to the aforementioned 'giving up'. Most often accepting failure and defeat thus turning the whole thing into a giant mistake - long before we have even had a chance to be successful.

3. Communication

The bringer of great things, or the destroyer of worlds. Communication is a powerful tool and can be used to build or destroy. I look to the 'Leaders' of then and now to convey this point. Great leaders are genuine when they speak and when they listen. A lot of 'leaders' fail to inspire because they lack the ability to speak or listen honestly and effectively.

We must be willing to listen and communicate in such a way that the right questions get asked and the correct answers are given.

4. Accountability

If you are under the impression you are perfect, I'm sorry to be the one who informs you; you are not.

Human nature is trial and error, mistakes and lessons. Failing to acknowledge or hold yourself accountable for ALL things, is a huge impediment to your success in all facets of life. Always take full responsibility for those actions; right, wrong or indifferent. This is something that takes daily discipline and awareness - especially in a world surrounded by those who don't.

5. Expectation

What we expect from people needs to be realistic and also in some cases; outlined. As we grow, the expectations are set by our parents and family and those who raise us. How they expect us to behave and carry ourselves. As an adult, you develop friendships and the status quo becomes established in these relationships much the same. FACTS: Not every family member gets along and not every friend stays a friend forever.

What we expect from those around us, should be clear. I expect my family to be there for me when I need them; as they expect that from me. I have friends who also I expect much the same as family. I also have family and friends...well, let's just say they aren't listed as my emergency contact. We have people we would loan money too and people who we know if we do - we're never going to see that money again. But at least the exception is set correctly so we can act accordingly. Now when it comes to a business type situation; when we hire or work with someone, it needs to be clear what the expectation is. An outline of duties, responsibilities and goals - these are imperative to a good working relationship.

6. Grudges

Here's a popular one. Something to remember: People will betray, disrespect, lie and infuriate you.

Human beings are inherently self preservationists and will always do what they are going to; not letting that change you is how to let go, and not hold on to the anger of it. Learn from it, in all ways and move on.

Living your best life doesn't not include hate in your heart. Do not let your happiness be tied to other people's actions.

7. Fear

Fear will stop you dead in your tracks. Failure to launch and act on an idea or feeling can be crippling. Fear creates depression and anxiety and an overall feeling of worthlessness; if you let it control you. Everyone experiences their own sensations of fear for all kinds of reasons.

Overcome that fear, stop overthinking. Take that action. Say that thing. Ask that question. (within reason of course - don't try flying with fans or something stupid ). Breakthroughs don't have to be big profound events, they can be accomplished with small actions.

8. Knowing it All

Usually goes hand in hand with that accountability thing, Thinking we are right most of the time. Certainly one of the easiest ways to destroy any type of relationship. Life is a give and a take, but if you are unable to give and grow and learn and accept - things will continue to blow up and get out of control. Thus taking you down a path of more disappointments. Be open to others opinions and reasonings and knowledge.

9. Planning

Planning is something that often falls by the wayside. Everyones too busy 'living', putting things off, forgetting things they were gonna do and getting side tracked and more behind. People often fail because of their lack of planning. If it's too time consuming to take small action steps towards goals, success will always remain out of reach.You must invest the time in yourself and your goals. Write down what it will take to get from A to B and set a timeline or schedule. This keeps you accountable and on track. Success takes time and when we take the time to grow ourselves we invest in ourselves and our future.

10. Self Care

A lot of people put their physical and mental health on hold in order to become 'successful'. But if you truly understand the connection between the body and mind, you would know this is a grave mistake. Pushing yourself too hard and not taking time to get enough sleep or eat the right foods and even taking time just for you and yourself. Treat feeding the mind, body and inner self as a daily activity.

These are just some observations I have made, and I try to apply daily in my own life.

Regardless of why we make mistakes, or fail. At the end of the day, as long as we learn something - we are growing. Who we are when we leave this world is what matters. Not how much money we have or how hard we worked. Success is not a measure of money, it's a measure of you and how you carry yourself, view and take in the world around you; which will be how you are remembered.

If you would like to know more about Strategize, Organize, Simplify and how we can help you avoid these hiccups and stay on track.

Please feel free to reach out and ask about our 'Accountabila-Buddy' Program.

Written By: Sarah McNeeley

Owner & Operator of Strategize, Organize, Simplify

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