Embracing Mistakes, Failures and Weaknesses

Don’t you think it is a failing of society, that so much pressure is placed on the younger generation over whether they succeed or fail at something and that success is measured by the higher percentage gained during exams or the greater wage they eventually get paid in life?

As we slowly begin to gain an understanding of the global problem we are faced with in regard to Mental Health, and as awareness is raised by an inspirational few regarding what we can do about it as a Society, within Communities, Organisations, Businesses and by Charities, don’t you think it is time for a perception change?

I always believed that you either win or lose, succeed or fail and are strong or weak, especially during my military career, it was always about being stronger, fitter, faster, braver, being first and ultimately……. WINNING. There was NO room for weakness!

Fast forward seven years from the day I left the Army and there are two ways to look at this period of time, either highlighting all the negatives, concentrating on what is perceived to be my mistakes, failures and weaknesses(1) OR how I have embraced mistakes, failures and weaknesses, re-framing them into positive actions that spur me on during darkest days(2);

1)    I lost my chauffeur company and failed in business, made many mistakes, let people down, owed money and ignored all the warning signs and symptoms of mental ill health which ultimately led to my going into rehab, suicidal. From there I flailed around trying to make a name for myself, failed as a business coach and started a mental health consultancy so I could make money off the back of others misery and suffering.

2)    I learned many invaluable lessons in business and continue to do so. Through the successful sale of my chauffeur business, I managed to pay off those I owed money to, whilst standing my ground, accepting responsibility for the mistakes I made and taking ownership of my actions. Over the past two years I have identified where my passion lies and what my goals are in life, whilst also being on a journey of recovery for PTSD, mild Depression and chronic spinal pain. This has led to being able to form a Social Enterprise, assisting Military personnel, Veterans and Partners with their Mental Health, empowering them to better manage their own lives.

Have you a specific point in time, where you have made mistakes, failures or shown weaknesses, which you view as negative? Try to re-frame it and see what positive lessons can be learned. You see as humans, ultimately, we are designed to initially fail, make mistakes, be weaker at some things than others and experience failure. Why?

So we continue to learn new and exciting things, strive for answers to questions we have not yet asked, identify our strengths, build our resilience and continue to grow as individuals, as a society and as a species.

So, embrace mistakes, failures and weaknesses within: individuals, your teams, your management and yourselves, empower and encourage those around you to learn by it and to grow. As you do, you, your team and your business will grow too. Through changing people’s perceptions of the various situations that life throws at us all and increasing one’s resilience, our ability to manage situations is improved, thus reducing the number of stressors and ultimately our stress levels.

As for me, regardless of the pain, misery and sorrow endured, should I ever be asked: “What would you do differently if you could do it all again?” the answer would most definitely be;

 ”Nothing! Everything I have been through, the choices and decisions I have made led me to where I am, being the person I am, with the one I love, supporting and saving those we have to date because of what I have experienced. Why would I ever want to risk changing that!?” 


Learn more about how we can assist in enhancing your workplace culture, employee engagement and implementing preventative measures that support your staffs workplace mind wellness OR contact David Carter on david@workingmindsmatter.uk

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A really interesting and engaging session today, thank you so much for attending. It’s not often that such a session will provide a full action plan for an organisation and some really key areas to address, in order to address Mental Health within the workplace. Highly recommended any organisation having Nick come in and speak to your staff, your managers or your leaders! Thanks again Nick!

– Katy Frith, HR Manager, Havebury

I highly recommend Nick, the depth of his knowledge and the manner in which he openly talks about a subject that affects so many lives is nothing short of inspiring.

– Danny Morgan Tech IOSH, Health, Safety & Facilities Manager

It was a pleasure and an honour to have you in this morning to speak about PTSD Nick, I know the team took away some great insight and learning around this topic. Thank you

– Glen Clayton, Aspire Oxford