In the first post of this series,” Where’s Your Bulls Eye?”, I talked about the first step to creating confidence, Be the Best Version of YOU. Today I’ll cover step two of building your confidence – Learn from YOUR Experiences.
When you think about the things in your life that have moved your forward or moved you back – the things that have messed with your confidence – what have you learned from them? The painful things, the frustrating people, the disappointing experiences, there is a lesson; a pearl of wisdom, a seed of learning that will germinate and sprout another day. Did you get it? Did you look for it? Why should you? Here’s why…
Have you ever made a mistake? An, “OMG I can’t believe I did that!”– kind of mistake?
A “What was I thinking!”– kind of mistake?
Have you ever reacted poorly to a person or situation or circumstance? Do you beat yourself up afterwards? Feel guilty? Feel bad or sad or angry?
What good does that do?
Life happens and the only thing we have control over is our reaction. There will be situations that turn out unfavorably and the biggest tip I can give you is you’ve got to learn as much from them as you can. Why? Because it helps you to learn about yourself, your values, what is acceptable and what is not and mostly what to do differently the next time. It allows you to make progress.
Here are 5 ways to learn from your experiences:
- A mistake is merely a choice that doesn’t serve you well. Listening to a recording of a webinar one day, I heard this and it stuck with me! I loved it because the use of the word choice says that you have options. You can make another choice and have a different outcome. Mistakes aren’t necessarily bad, they allow you to grow. I know you’ve said at some point “Well, I’ll never do that again.” Same deal, make a different choice the next time and know you’ve learned a lesson.
- There is no failure, only feedback. Meaning that if what happens as a result of a decision or action is not what you want, then incorporate the feedback or lesson from it and do it differently the next time. Say for instance, you are driving to work in the morning. You’ve cut it close on timing and all of the sudden you come upon a construction detour! You know you won’t make it on time; the traffic is snarled, and you’re worried about making your first meeting. If the next day you choose another route or left a little earlier, then congratulations you’ve incorporated the feedback! It’s as simple as that. You have opportunities to learn from less than favorable events.
- Don’t give away your personal power. When you say that things “happen to you” or anytime you believe you are the “victim” in a situation or whatever happened was an “accident” you have just given away any impact you could have to make a difference. You have said that person, that situation is more important, more powerful and has control over you. You just gave away your personal power. Instead, look at the situation with an eye for how you could change the circumstances the next time, no matter how small or subtle. One little change means it’s not happening the same way the next time and its progress. Every time you say No to something you don’t want to do – you have learned from an experience. Every time you declare that someone or something is unacceptable to you because you deserve more – and you act on it – you have learned from an experience. Every time you refuse to get swirled into someone else’s drama – because they live for drama – you have learned from an experience.
- Learn the lesson before the 2×4! Lessons by nature have to get bigger each time you “don’t get it” and repeat the mistake again. If you didn’t get it the first time around, it must not have been important enough for you to make change so it will be bigger the next time and bigger the next time yet. Finally, here comes the BIG, blinged out 2×4 to smack you right between the eyes! It’s much easier when you can listen to the subtle messages of your intuition than to be laid low by the 2×4. I’ve had both experiences but sometimes the 2×4 is the only thing that will get our attention. When you sigh and say “Ugh…I really don’t want to do this” and you have that exhausted, sort of drained feeling inside, you should listen. That’s when you really want to pay attention and hear what your intuition is trying to tell you. Choose situations, make decisions, and move towards what makes you feel lighter. You’re internal guidance won’t steer you wrong.
- Ditch the (negative) emotion! When you make a mistake, often times you come down hard on yourself. You beat yourself up… You dwell on it… You wake up in the middle of the night and obsess about it. You then wake up in the morning – after finally having fallen asleep and forgotten your huge and tragic misdeed – only to remember seconds after opening your eyes what happened… and its downhill again. Whatever anger, sadness, fear or guilt you may harbor about your mistake only affects you. The mistake has been made; there is no going back in time so the negative emotion only serves to make you feel worse! You just have to learn from the experience. Ditch the emotion, learn your lesson, and take different action the next time. You’ll have much more clarity when you can look at something without emotion.
As you start recognizing the impact you can have in your life by learning from your experiences, it gets easier. Knowing that you are only in charge of your role in any situation and that you have the power to act on it will allow you to make different decisions that move you forward confidently. Notice when you have little “Aha!” moments – those are your learnings at work. Be grateful for them. Journal them so you can see the progress you are making in living your confident life!
Leave a comment below or go to the Getting To Clarity Facebook page and let me know the confident acts you have taken and inspire someone else to do the same along the way!
Be good to yourself,
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