mess up mistake at work

Messed-up at at work? Try this technique to get past it and do better next time

When we fail or mess up at work, our thoughts and moods generally head in 2 directions:

  1. Self-pity – where we blame other people.
  2. Self-flagellation – where we put the blame on ourselves.

The direction that presents a greater risk, is Self-flagellation.

Often we can take self criticism too far, to a place where we learn nothing from the experience. All we do is overthink things and keep beating ourselves up, which lowers the levels for our morale, sense of achievement and performance.


Instead of going down this spiral, take 15 minutes to think through things positively and practice a bit of self compassion.

Use the 15 minutes to consider that:

  1. The task might have been too hard.
  2. You weren’t properly equipped.
  3. Failure is more common than you think.
  4. Lady luck exists.
  5. Your entire sense of self worth is not dependent on external factors/things.
  6. You might be able to turn the failure into a success.

We’re not trying to wipe our hands of all responsibility here. What’re we’re doing is trying to take it a but easy on ourselves, get into a positive mindset, learn from the experience and improve.

Have a look at this video for more details.


Published by

Amit Puri

Amit is an experienced career, business and HR professional. Previously, he has worked with organisations such as Bain & Company, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup. Amit has advanced degrees/qualifications in Career Counselling, Organisational Psychology & HR, Occupational Psychometrics, Career/Life Coaching & Business.

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