NEXT time something doesn’t go the way you planned, no matter the scale, (a business failure, a disagreement, a poor restaurant experience, a trip over the curb, an interaction with an employee or colleague), don’t beat up on yourself.  Instead, stop and ask yourself two questions:

1.  What went wrong?

2.  What could I have done differently that would have made for a better outcome?

Don’t stop at the first reason you find, nor at the first “better way” that comes to mind.  Neither causes nor best practices are always immediately apparent, so a bit of deep thinking can reveal underlying causes and innovative solutions.

Small things won’t need much thinking,  (you tripped because talking on the phone, so next time, don’t walk and talk), while spectacular failures will take time to assess.  And often, bigger and more troubling mistakes or failures need some distance in time before you gain a broad and rational perspective.  Hindsight is 20/20, as they say.

Then, when you know what went wrong and what you could have done, make a commitment to yourself that when faced with a similar circumstance, you’ll try the new approach.

Make this a habit and you’ll never really experience mistakes or failures, just learning opportunities on the road to success.

And imagine what it will do for your self-doubt?