Disaster Or a Useful Life Lesson?

Turn your Screw Ups Into a Life Lesson

Are you open to learn a life lesson? Has something happened to you recently that you wish hadn’t? Are you prepared to accept it as a life lesson instead of believing you screwed up or made a big mistake? I’m not sure if everything happens for a reason. Yet there is a lesson in every situation. When I encounter something that seems messed up in some way. I ask myself, What can I learn from this? When I do my work as an NLP Life Coach, I also encourage my clients to do the same. One of the ‘Presuppositions’ of NLP is ‘There is no failure only feedback’.  In other words, we don’t  fail, we receive information to make a better and more informed decision next time.
On my recent vacation, We had a  situation which my husband claims could have been disastrous. We took an Uber to a tourist attraction in the mountains for the final 5 miles, not served by the light rail service. On the return trip, the driver could not find us and tried to contact me. Our ride was cancelled twice and we became concerned about how we would get back. I realized that the phone number attached to my account was incorrect. I fixed it and was finally connected with our irritated driver and was able to get to our destination.  The lesson was in better planning and attention to detail next time.

What Could You Do Differently?

I’m sure that you can think of many situations that have left you irritated. Could your actions have avoided it? Earlier this year I headed across town to a meeting.  I received a call  during my journey cancelling it. At first I was irritated having wasted part of my day. It took a while to recognize that I had to take some responsibility. I was passive in accepting the meeting. I went without seeking clarification, for fear of jeopardizing a potential opportunity. The invitation was vague and confusing. Had I been bolder in asking questions, I would not have agreed to the meeting. I learned a valuable lesson which  led me to create better procedures.
If we never experience problems or setbacks how will we ever know how to handle them or be able to help other people? In my  early use of computers, I was in awe of a technician who seemed to instinctively know how to do his job. He appeared to identify and fix problems by magic. He laughed when I suggested this. “Trish I have seen this at least ten times before”. It was not magic, he knew what to do because he saw the problem often. His early struggles, failures and experimentation created the magic.
One of my previous roles was as a Health and Safety Officer. During my training I learned the importance of recording and investigating ‘near misses’.  Though I dealt with risks associated with an office environment. I learned that by studying failures we can retrieve data that is vital to ensure we cut risks even in serious and life threatening situations.
Next time you screw up and nothing bad happens. Be grateful, take a deep breath and ask yourself, what can I learn from this?
We can also learn from other people’s mistakes. Have you ever cringed as you saw a friend get themselves into an embarrassing  situation? The life lesson likely saved you from a similar awkward circumstances.


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