Posted by Todd Smith
Have you ever told someone, “You won’t believe what I did,” then proceeded to tell them about something stupid you did? Why did you feel compelled to share your mistake? Other than using it as an example to teach a lesson, what benefit could you derive by telling people about something you shouldn’t have done? Have you ever stopped to consider that it could negatively influence how they view you AND how you see yourself?
Our personal brand is formed from the hundreds of impressions we make on others: the words in our e-mails, our voice tone on the phone, our appearance. Everything we do or say is making small impressions on those around us.
Tony Jeary, popular author, speaker, and communication coach, said, “Every day, in dozens of different ways, you’re sending a message out to the world. The wrong message will cost you respect, career promotions, and perhaps relationships. And the right messages will enable you to achieve your personal and professional best.”
In the business world, the more positively you are viewed, the more options you will have and the more value you will offer to the market. In your personal life, how you are viewed will affect everything from the quality of people you attract into your life to how you are treated.
A word of caution: before telling people about the unwise things you’ve done, pause to consider how it may influence what people think about you. Remember, even among your closest friends, every impression matters!
Another critical factor to consider is the residual effect on your personal development and self-image. If you concentrate on your faults and focus on the remorse for your poor decisions, you will begin to develop a poor self-image. It’s likely to become a downward spiral, as the negativity will breed more negativity.
Let me encourage you to focus on your strengths and the positive things you do. We all do stupid things from time to time. No one is perfect. When you do make poor judgments, learn all you can from your mistakes. Then use your self-control to stop thinking about them. And unless there is a darn good reason, don’t talk about your weaknesses or your unwise decisions.
Since we aren’t perfect, we are going to make mistakes. The key is to learn from them and move on.
Decisions, Encouragement, Failure, Hope, Self-Talk
Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 43 years and founder of Little Things Matter. This blog contains over 200 of his timeless life lessons.
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