Success Principles

Turn a Bad Day into Good Data

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For over 30 years, I’ve been teaching the value of practicing “Correction without Invalidation”. I’m a proponent of this practice because I used to beat myself up badly for making mistakes and how life-changing it was when I discovered the value of mistakes rather than feeling guilty for making them.

They say that you never make the same mistake twice. The first time may be a mistake. But the next time, it’s a decision. Well if that’s true, I’ve made a lot of bad decisions in my life. Good chance you have, too.

And it used to be so painful to admit to myself and to others when I messed up. Sometimes it took days and even months to recover from having erred. Even though I was well intentioned, the guilt spirals I went into were debilitating.

But once I got that we’re either winning or learning—as opposed to winning or losing—my life, my success and my happiness improved dramatically.

I recently read the book Change Anything, where the authors share their in-depth research about how to make significant changes in one’s life. They identified six key sources to support yourself in making lasting changes. And in one of them, they talked about viewing setbacks as information.

I think doing so builds on the concept of correction without invalidation. You can let a setback stop you, slow you down, discourage you—and even de-rail you. Or, you can turn a bad day into good data, learn from it and better equip yourself for doing better the next time you get sidetracked or off-course.

It’s a simple concept, yet not always easy to follow. We’ve all been programmed by our inner and outer critics so much that it’s difficult to embrace the “setbacks as information“ approach.

But I believe that awareness is the biggest lever for change.
And now you have that lever.

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