Screw Up and Learn…Bravo!

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“That’s it for me! I screwed that up BIG TIME!!”

When you’re in the midst of a crisis, whether it’s a job that didn’t work out, a gig you screwed up, or even something you got blamed for that wasn’t your fault.

Don’t dwell on the mess.  

Make a list of what you learned. The phrase “I’ll never do that again” is great but the question you need to ask is, Do What Again?

  1. Study the circumstances that brought you to that moment?
  2. Recognize your made it through.
  3. You’re still able to move forward and recover.
  4. Don’t make the mess bigger than all the lessons you learned going through it.

The phrases people tell us after we mess up like, “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”, “you only fail if you quit”, “when you fall get up brush yourself off and start over again”, are true only if you actually take the time to identify how you could make yourself better, more valuable, stronger. 

Over the years I have made some MAJOR mistakes.  Mistakes that should have ended my career at the moment I made the mistake.

Like not hitting record on a high-profile “once in a life time” interview, blowing out the sound system two hours before show time at a major venue in NYC, wiping out the memory on drum machine that took the artist 3 months to record, the list goes on and on. 

The fact is:

You are going to make a mistake.

You are going to be blamed for something you had no control over.

You may even lose a gig unfairly (or even fairly).

LEARN FROM IT and then it has value.

Once it’s happened, it happened, there is nothing that can be done to change that.

If you learn from that moment by analyzing the circumstances and your reaction and actions, the moment will have value.

If it has value then it’s was a learning experience.

If it’s a learning experience then it’s a positive and will advance your career.

I’m NOT professing to deliberately screw up. That’s just stupid.

I’m saying make the most of the mess up by reviewing and listing the following:

  1. Make a list. (repeating this point because its critical)
  2. Identify the circumstances that surrounded and lead to the mistake.
  3. Analyze the details of those circumstances.
  4. What could or should you have done differently?
  5. Who could you talk to about how to avoid repeating?
  6. What skills or behavior do you need to improve on to avoid repeating.

FYI, I make these lists not only on mistakes but also successes. This journal of lists is awesome to use as a referral throughout your career.

So much happens in our professional lives that there is no way to recall all the nuances that will make all the differences as you grow your career.

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