You’ve made an error, a project has failed or another problem has reared its ugly head again. Is your first impulse to learn from it and move on, or do you habitually perseverate over your missteps? There is a benefit to spending some time on the root causes of issues, AND it is often true that we linger far too long, obsessing about things that did not go well.

Yes, do an after-action review to figure out how to prevent this problem from recurring. As you conduct that review, set a deadline for when you will stop thinking about the issue, at least in a “woe is me” kind of way. Take a cue from Sarah Millican, a stand-up comedian, who gives herself until 11:00 a.m. the next day to mourn a poor performance.

A colleague used to advise me not to worry about anything that isn’t going to be an issue in 6 months or a year. The old saying about not crying over spilled milk certainly applies to many of the failures that felt tragic at the time, but really were just bumps in the road to success.

Have a tried and true method for moving on after a failure? Comment below or message us.


Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash