27/11/2014 09:49 GMT | Updated 26/01/2015 05:59 GMT

Never Again...


I'm sure you've either said or heard people say Never again... I often wonder what that means. Does it mean I made a mistake, overspent, or maybe fell for the wrong person? Don't know about you, but I can relate to each of the above questions. Saying Never again is probably a tad delusional, because it's highly likely we'll make the same errors more than once. I know I have. It's how we learn what it is that encourages us to get it wrong again.

I firmly believe we tie ourselves down by saying Never again. Surely better to ask ourselves why we did what we did. So often, we deny ourselves of letting ourselves off the hook, so to speak. I regularly ask my clients to ask themselves good questions. Invariably, good questions elicit good responses. Therefore, asking why we did or said something that turned out to be wrong or inappropriate, is likely to guide us to not repeating it. Though there always seems to be a payoff when we consciously make errors, it's usually short lived. More importantly, asking ourselves the why question, helps us to get it right the next time.

Yet again you've given your heart to the wrong person. It's the third time you've gotten it wrong. Asking yourself if there's a familiar pattern here's a good question. Think of it as self-counselling. When I ask myself why I screwed up again, I usually find it's because I'm either being selfless or I've allowed my self esteem to be affected negatively. These kind of questions help us to see the bigger picture, as they expand our regular thinking and encourage greater self awareness.

Self awareness is pivotal to our personal growth. With it, we become more knowledgeable about how life is outside of ourselves. In addition, our internal world expands significantly. We also become more reflective, which can enable us to think twice before making hasty decisions. One senior banking executive I coached, who could be a little curt, sends himself the e-mail he's about to fire off to his team, then decides if he'll still send it. This seemingly simple way of ensuring we can avoid saying Never again, can be an effective strategy for self improvement.

Some tips:

Think before speaking and taking actions

Forgive yourself if you screw up

Know that making mistakes are pivotal for learning

Remember to ask yourself good questions

Be reflective whenever possible

Be flexible with yourself

Only say Never again, about giving yourself a hard time