Photo by Jungwoo Hong on Unsplash

If you’re human, you are going to make mistakes. I love Denis Waitley’s perspective: “Mistakes are painful when they happen, but years later a collection of mistakes is what is called experience.”

John Maxwell says there are two kinds of people in regards to setbacks: splatters, who hit the bottom, fall apart and stay on the bottom; and bouncers, who hit rock bottom, pull themselves together, and bounce back up.

Here are a few thoughts that will help you turn your mistakes into success.

1. Don’t base your self-worth on your mistakes.

Your value as a human being is found in far more than your performance. You can become your own worst enemy by telling yourself, “I am a failure,” or “I’ll never be good enough.” If you fail, keep a healthy perspective and coach yourself up. You are not defined by your worst moments.

2. Don’t feel sorry for yourself.

When you make a mistake, pick yourself up quickly and get moving again. If you start to wallow, you might get stuck. Focus on the good that you can make out of the difficulty. Don’t forget, the experience that you gain from mistakes will serve you well five years down the road when you are leading someone going through something similar.

3. Do consider your failures as a process to learn and improve.

Take the attitude of a scientist: when their work fails, they just call it an experiment that didn’t work! It is amazing how something this simple can change your perspective and attitude about making a mistake. Psychologist Dr. Joyce Brothers said, “The person interested in success has to learn to view failure as a healthy, inevitable part of the process of getting to the top.”

4. Don’t give up!

Author and speaker Og Mandino has some impactful words on this topic. He said, “Mistakes are life’s way of teaching you. Your capacity for occasional blunders is inseparable from your capacity to reach your goals. How will you know your limits without an occasional failure?” Shake it off. Your turn will come. Believing that is essential for success.

If you are facing a bad experience because of a mistake that you made, let the bad experience lead you to a good experience. Remember, good experiences are often a result of previous bad experiences. Bad experiences are only bad if you fail to learn from them.

Ask yourself this question: How can I take this bad experience and turn it into a better one?

I’ll always remember these strong words from Winston Churchill, “Success is not final; failure is not fatal. It’s the courage to continue that counts.”


  1. Jason J. Stoughton on July 19, 2019 at 10:23 am

    Love this blog! Mark Cole nails it…God never wastes a single experience. Not one. Whether it’s mistakes made by choice that violate our values, mistakes made in ignorance or adversity that we did not invite or even see coming — we can always learn, improve and grow our way into success AND then, significance!

  2. Duyilemi Felix on July 29, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    Chaos is the raw material for creativity. If your life is a mess, turn it to a message.

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