View Mistakes as a Time to Grow

As you grow in personal leadership, the excitement you experience in achieving new goals is so fulfilling that you will never want to give up the rewards of this way of life. The gratification you receive from exercising personal leadership makes it hard to believe that it would be possible to live any other way. But new habits and attitudes require alert monitoring to insure their continuity. Old habits and attitudes still lurk in the recesses of your subconscious and will reassert themselves if you are not vigilant. Two motivation blocks that stem the natural tide of creativity are so frequently encountered that it is good to have a plan in advance for dealing with them should they occur.

Negative Habit Patterns

Negative habit patterns arising from negative thinking often cause a motivation block. Some children grow up in an atmosphere where every suggestion or request is met with an automatic negative response. As a result, it becomes natural to concentrate on why things cannot be done instead of how they can be done.

Remember that there is always the danger of unconsciously slipping back into the habit of thinking negatively and blaming circumstances for lack of progress. Remain constantly aware of how you respond to suggestions, ideas, and new experiences. Set up a strong program of affirmation and you will gradually replace negative habit patterns by substitution. As your new attitudes grow stronger, they dominate your pattern of thinking and the old negative responses gradually subside. Success is the inevitable result. Associate primarily with people who think and live positively. Read material that feeds your mind with positive ideas. Listen to personal development and self-improvement tapes. The real key to growth is confidence and belief in your ability to change yourself and your attitudes.

Reliving Past Failures

The second serious motivation block often encountered is the practice of reliving past failures. Failure is relatively unimportant. History’s greatest progress has been achieved through trial and error by individuals who dared to fail and try again. Failure is tragic only when it is allowed to create a motivation block to future effort — when it becomes so emotionally laden with embarrassment, fear, or doubt that it affects the total personality.

Mistakes are neither blemishes on your record nor indications of weakness. As you develop personal leadership, you learn to view mistakes as an inevitable part of life, an opportunity for growth, and a part of the process of maturing. You can actually enjoy analyzing a mistake to find all of its potential good. It then becomes a victory and an opportunity for growth. Face life realistically and without fear; refuse to deny life, to shrink or hide from it.

These two motivation blocks to personal leadership are most quickly overcome through the practice of goal setting. If you know where you stand and where you are going, you can quickly destroy the effect of either of these motivation blocks because you have already fashioned the necessary tools in your “Plan of Action.” The combination of challenging goals, a vigorous program of affirmation, and the ongoing practice of visualization give you quick mastery over motivation blocks.

Positive Expectancy

There is a close correlation between personal leadership and a high degree of personal maturity. A mature attitude toward the world, toward other people, and most of all toward yourself produces positive expectancy. Skeptics often scoff at the idea of maintaining a positive mental attitude. They consider it a facade — a superficial role people assume to deceive themselves or others. A genuine positive mental attitude, however, is an expression of maturity that comes as the internal characteristics of personal leadership gradually unfold much as the petals of a bud open to form a beautiful rose. All together, these traits — self-awareness, self-confidence, self-acceptance, self-respect and self-reliance — reveal the full beauty of your inner being.

Positive expectancy requires a no-limitations belief in yourself that comes from clear, calm and honest self-confidence. Belief in yourself rests on supreme confidence in both your present and future abilities. It demands that you be goal directed and progressively growing. Positive expectancy gives you victory over the fears that might otherwise accompany recognition of personal inadequacies; doubts and fear itself are never allowed to take root.

Leadership Management® Institute
Reprinted with permission
Strategic Essentials is a Managing Partner for Leadership Management® International, Inc.

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