Mistakes Do Not Mean Failure

Having and Option and ChoosingI was going through my morning organizing for the day and had Gary Allan playing in the background when one of his songs caught my attention – Half of My Mistakes.  Especially these lyrics:


“Half of my mistakes I’ve made ’cause I was moving to quickley
Half of them were made ’cause my heart was moving too slow…
…half the good things in my life came from half of my mistakes”


I have made more than my fair share of mistakes.  Looking back at it I could find a reason for all of them: out of what I thought was necessity, love, honor, commitment, need, want, for me, for someone else – the list goes on.


But the bottom line is each is a choice I made at that time.  Right or wrong, good or bad they were all my choices and there were lessons in all of them.  I had another choice there, too: whether to learn the lesson or ignore it and keep making those mistakes.


In coaching it is not uncommon for my clients to be at a point where they look back at their past and see only the mistakes leading them to fear of taking steps in the future.


It is easy to look back and see the remnants of the “bad” mistakes.  Heartache, job loss, financial hardships – these things leave lasting impressions and often skew the bigger picture.  What we need to do is look back to what was learned or to be learned.


On a personal note I remember telling my mom I always dated a certain “type” of guy years ago.  She stopped, turned and looked at me and said, “and how is that working for you?”  Mom – Queen of Subtlety.


If you have the “mistake” mindset when writing your resume then that attitude will come blaring through.  The flow of your resume will read as though you went from one position to the next trying to avoid rather than trying to grow.


No matter what you may think, your attitude comes through in your writing.  If you loved a job it shows – if you hated it, bingo, it shows too.


As your resume should be written as to where you are going rather than where you have been take the personal feelings out of it.


Look back at each position and find the link to how each step has brought you to this place right here right now and how it has prepared you for the next step.  You have to find that link in order that you can portray that to the reader.


It is not their job to figure it out.  They don’t have time and they don’t care to do so.


The jobs may not relate, they may actually seem to be all over the place; but that is where you look for the lessons.


In job A you learned this, in job B you learned that, leading to job C where you built upon those…see the pattern?


You may have learned a new skill or you may have learned to avoid something all together.  If it was discovering that you really hated that position focus on the positives while you were there and how they relate to where you are going.


It is not the fall, it is the rise.


We have all made mistakes; we all have woulda, coulda and shoulda moments.  But those moments are holding you back.


Have will, can and do moments.  Because once you learn from those mistakes and see that they are a pattern that has brought you to this moment, this very moment, in preparation for something big that is about to happen you are ready to move quickly.


Be ready to jump at the chance, take a risk and be bold.  It may turn out to be another mistake – but not the same one.  And now you know that with each mistake you get one step closer to that which you really want.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.



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