By Sunny Simon

     When I asked my new client what his goals were for our coaching sessions, without missing a beat he told me he wanted his life to be a complete do-over. Thinking it was a bit drastic, I smiled and suggested he pretend using a large Wite-Out Correction Pen to ink out the mistakes, but only after he reviewed the outcome and internalized lessons learned.

     Let’s face facts. We all have stumbles and screw-ups. Understandably, taking a trip down memory lane might be painful as we recall our regrets, but prior to kicking all the failures  to the curb, it is necessary to capture the knowledge we gained. In fact, often we learn best when digging out of our deepest holes. There is truth in the expression that our best teacher is our biggest blunder.

     Much can be gained from a thorough inspection of our failures and faux pas. Keep in mind that you’ve already made the mistake. Having suffered the consequences, you may as well extract the lesson. Analyzing errors helps us find out what works and what doesn’t. Absorbing the cost of our wayward ways promotes corrective action and change which eventually leads to success.


     Want more reasons to put our mess-ups under the microscope? Mistakes enhance our skill level. To err is human, but an astute individual never makes the same mistake twice. In the aftermath of a regrettable experience, we walk away  wiser human beings. There is also something to be said for failures revealing our blind spots. This insight helps us grow.

     While you are processing the lessons, don’t be too hard on yourself. No one handed you a road map to your life’s journey. Executing is sometimes a crap shoot. Expecting to get it right 100% of the time is totally unrealistic.  

     When my client returned for another session, we spent some time discussing the insight gained from his personal soul searching mistake assessment.  He admitted it was a worthwhile exercise. Now he is ready to put the past behind him and move forward. He will walk his new path with confidence and wisdom more aware of the pitfalls. Rather than constantly going it alone, he will reach out for help when needed.

     Will he mess up again? Will I? Will you? Of course! To think we’ll never make another mistake ever again is unrealistic. But as a wise man once said, the only real mistake is one from which we learn nothing. Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at