Success Tweet 138: Admit Your Mistakes, Learn From Them, and Then Move On

My new career success coach book Success Tweets: 140 Bits of Common Sense Career Success Advice, All in 140 Characters or Less is turning out to be quite a hit.  It is now in its third printing.  Over 2,5000 people have downloaded the free eBook version.  I think it’s a great addition to my career advice writings.  Go to to get a .pdf of Success Tweets for free. 

I’m almost at the end of this series of posts; it has taken me 28 weeks and one day to blog about each of the tweets in Success Tweets.  I’m happy with the result.  In a few weeks, I’ll consolidate these blog posts into a free eBook for you, so you’ll be able to download the career advice in both Success Tweets and the Success Tweets Blog.

I’ve created what I consider to be the best source of free life and career success advice on the internet.  All humility aside, I think that the Success Tweets book, coupled with these 141 blog posts, is as good or better than a lot of the career advice on the internet for which you have to pay.  Follow the career advice in Success Tweets and these 141 blog posts and you’ll be on your way to creating the life and career success you want and deserve.

Today’s career advice comes from Tweet 138…

We all make mistakes.  Own up to yours.  You’ll become known as a straight shooter, honest with yourself and others.

For this post, I’d like to return to one of my favorite documents: The Optimist Creed.  If you would like a copy of The Optimist Creed suitable for framing, please go to

The Optimist Creed

Promise Yourself:

  • To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
  • To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
  • To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
  • To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
  • To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
  • To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
  • To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
  • To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
  • To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
  • To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

In this post, I’d like to delve into the seventh point: “Promise yourself to forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.”

Let’s begin with a quote from Ann Landers:

“If I were asked to give what I consider to be the single-most useful bit of advice for all humanity, it would be this: expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and when it comes, hold your head high, look it squarely in the eye, and say ‘I will be bigger than you.  You cannot defeat me’.”

I like what Ann Landers has to say here because it is great career advice and a reality check.  She’s right, trouble – and setbacks and failure – are an inevitable part of life.  Successful, self confident people look trouble squarely in the eye and move forward.  They are not cowed by their failures, rather they embrace them and use them to move towards their life and career success goals.  They also own up to their mistakes.  In this way, they become widely trusted.  And trust is the glue that holds together all relationships.

If you read this blog somewhat regularly, you probably know that I am a big tennis fan.  A couple of years ago, I saw two great matches at The Australian Open the first major tennis tournament of the year.

James Blake, one of the two best American men tennis players at the time, won a great five set match on a Friday night.  He lost the first two sets to Sebastien Grosjean.  Then he won the next three to win the best of five set match.  He was down four games to one in the fourth set, but won in a tie break.  He was gritty.

To put it in terms of The Optimist Creed, James Blake was able to “forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.”  In this case the past was the first two sets of the match.  Also to win, James Blake had to honestly evaluate his play in those first two sets and make some changes.

Roger Federer was the best player in the world at that time.  He still is very good.  He had a terrible match against Janko Tipsarevic on Saturday afternoon of that Australian Open.  He made 64 unforced errors and lost 16 of 21 break points.  If you follow tennis, you know that this is a recipe for losing.

However, Mr. Federer won the match in five sets.  Afterwards he said, “He (Mr. Tipsarevic) was just going for his shots and kept making them.  In the end, I just tried to block out all the chances I missed.”  The Optimist Creed shows up again.  By blocking out “all the chances I missed”, Mr. Federer was able to win the match. 

I believe that James Blake and Roger Federer won these matches because of their self confidence, their optimism, and as Ann Landers says, their ability to “look it (trouble) squarely in the eye, and say ‘I will be bigger than you.  You cannot defeat me’.”  They also owned up to their mistakes and made the changes in their games that they needed to do to win their mataches.  By the way, Lleyton Hewitt did the same thing in his five set match against Marcos Baghdatis. 

The common sense career success coach point here is simple.  Follow the career advice in Tweet 138 in Success Tweets.  “We all make mistakes.  Own up to yours.  You’ll become known as a straight shooter, honest with yourself and others.”  Successful, self confident people realize that mistakes are part of life.  Then learn from their mistakes and they build on this knowledge to create their career success.  Owning up to your mistakes is great career advice.  First you have to own up to your mistakes privately.  This is the only way to get past them and move forward to career success.  Second, you have to own up to your mistakes publicly.  Admit them to your colleagues and coworkers.  Take responsibility when you let down others.  You’ll build strong relationships by being forthright.  And as you know, strong realtionships are a key to career success.

That’s my take on the career advice in Success Tweet 138.  What’s yours?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  As always, thanks for reading.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.