Is there something you've done in your career that you feel bad about? Did you make decisions or recommendations that resulted in the loss of your job or someone else's? Did you say the wrong thing at a meeting, to your boss, to a recruiter or to a potential employer and that cost you something big? Are you unable to let it go even though the people around don't even remember what happened?
Dwelling on the past only hurts you. And although you know this, you do it anyway. Maybe you need to go over a mistake in your mind until you are comfortable with what happened. Or, you need to think it through to make sure it does not happen again. Processing your mistakes is normal and ok to do. When you deny your feelings they get worse. When you let them out they disappear.
But there does come a time when you have to let your feelings of failure go and that can be difficult. Unless you do the following 3 things.
1. Acknowledge That You May Have Failed
I say "may" because sometimes our view of ourselves is not always accurate. We may believe we have done the wrong thing although others (who know us well) tell us we did our best. Unfortunately, no matter what anyone says, we have to believe it first. And in many cases it's hard to let go of what hurts unless we acknowledge that we are hurt in the first place. Whatever you have done, I know you came from a good place. Yes, you made a mistake, and it may have been one that cost you a lot. Recognize that you had all the facts in front of you and you made the best decision you could of at the time. Feel your hurt. Do not resist it. Then, the healing work can begin.
2. Let Go Of What Happened
If you look back at your career, everything happened for a reason. Some of those reasons are clear and some have not been uncovered yet. The job you took that led to another job and a direction you may not have expected but one you welcome. Or maybe you were unhappy in your current role and what happened was the catalyst to doing something about it. It's important to trust that you are on the right path and the bigger picture is working out. You cannot change what happened but you can change what happens going forward.
Sure you can blame yourself, but is this the best use of your time and energy? Positive thinking will clear your mind and bring freedom into your career. It will also clear the way to a new direction.
3. Take Action.
Once you let go, you can charge ahead. What will you do differently this time? What process, coaching, classes, books will you read or take in so there is a structure for something more positive to occur in the future? Your goal is to get the power and control back in your career. It may not be easy to take the next step when you don't know what that next step is, but it is better than taking no steps at all. Small steps take you to the next step, which takes you closer to a new you. Plus, action is good for you. It's important to know that movement reduces your suffering and helps you move onto something greater.
We all make mistakes. Not one of us is immune. It's how we recover from our mistakes that matters. Do you want to be a bitter person who blames the world around them for their misfortune or one that takes responsibility and shapes the direction of their new path? The choice is up to you.