Failure vs Mistakes = Success or Sabotage. 8 Steps to Moving Forward

Let's not wallow in our failures and mistakes but use them for growth. Here's how to move forward, even when it's difficult

To reflect in brutal honesty about our failures and mistakes offers us an opportunity to build character and self-esteem. Why do we say failure vs a mistake? Is the justification based on the severity of the action, guilt, or denial? Are the words failure and mistake genuinely interchangeable? Yes. Based on our perspective.

An apology to oneself and others can often be a band-aid. The work that is needed to heal, move on and hopefully not repeat the same incident requires thought, reflection, ownership, sincerity without victimhood. Denial and accountability. Is it possible for us to be in both at the same time?

Yes, we can have accountability to others by apologizing and trying to fix the situation, while simultaneously in denial to ourselves about what is heard internally when we speak in harsh/negative words to berate ourselves.

Our perspective on how we view, accept, and use the experience is precisely where our individual power resides

Is our response reactive based on how we feel about what happened, or is it about something else going on and/or unresolved in our lives? Our perspective on how we view, accept, and use the experience is precisely where our individual power resides. We can choose to sabotage ourselves or grow. It is that simple and equally complex — perfect polarity that results in our choice for stagnation or evolving.

These are the exact moments that can be transformational for us in the same ways stretching a muscle every day builds flexibility and strength. We are doing the same internally.  

How can we lessen the pressure and angst we put ourselves through when in a situation where we organically would say either mistake or failure? Hint: Choosing to be dismissive and/or in denial may provide us temporary relief.

Seek solace and integrity for everyone involved in the midst of failure and mistakes:

  • address the problem straight away, objectively, not defensively, and with remorse.
  • accountability to yourself and the people the mistake affected.
  • apologize orally and/or in writing directly to the person and to the individuals affected.
  • suggest solutions, ask for advice on how to rectify, resolve and not create the same mistake or failure again.
  • continue the work at hand, not wallow in victimhood.
  • forgive yourself.
  • resign when applicable.
  • find and dive into your resilient inner core.

By Lisa Krohn Consultant: Personal Organizer/Writer/Personal Assistant
Lisa is devoted to organizing and producing clarity in people’s lives. She has a proven track record of success in achieving client goals with legendary thought leaders, renegade entrepreneurs, and people from all walks of life. Lisa is a discreet, creative problem solver, a detail-oriented and imaginative project manager who can establish order from chaos.
She is a contributing writer at https://thriveglobal.com/authors/lisa-krohn/

Lisa Krohn

See medical disclaimer below. ↓


  1. Lisa, thank you for this insightful article. For the longest time I viewed my divorce as my failure. My failure due to my later understanding of contributions we all have in the wins and losses of relationships. I have worked through the list you posted here, forgiving myself, taking accountability, as well as apologizing and working with those I hurt. I also acknowledge how they had hurt me, without casting blame. However, as I look at this now, yes, I made mistakes, and yes, took that opportunity to learn and grow and be better, especially for me. Even though the loss was great at the time, we have learned we are both in right place now. It is good to have re-organized my life. TY-

    • Kelly,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my article and respond.

      I am deeply grateful and humbled by your comments.

      I admire you for sharing intimately, revealingly and in evolved introspection.

      If you would like to continue the conversation privately. Please know I would be delighted to hear from you: lisakrohnllc@gmail.com


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The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.


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