Mistakes as Teachers — Find the Lessons and Find Time

Mistakes as teachers
See your mistakes as teachers.

The idea of mistakes as teachers is rarely discussed in time management circles.  But wouldn’t it be great to be able to put your mistakes to work for you? 

Ultimately, if you view your mistakes as teachers, that would mean that none of your time was ever ‘wasted.’

It’s a little like thinking of your life as a sustainable farm.  Absolutely everything can be used and everything makes its own unique contribution to the good of the whole enterprise.

It’s about your point of view.

So, yes, you can glean valuable gifts from your mistakes and come to see that while you may feel a loss about your choice, every loss holds potential gains.  It’s all a matter of perspective and of the energy you bring to the process.

Walt Whitman summed this up in a brief and powerful poem titled “Sometimes with One I Love.”  He was writing about unrequited love, but I think the concept is universal. See what you think…

Sometimes with one I love I fill myself with rage for fear I effuse unreturn’d love,
But now I think there is no unreturn’d love, the pay is certain one way or another
(I loved a certain person ardently and my love was not return’d,
Yet out of that I have written these songs).

Walt Whitman

Regret and Mistakes as Teachers

So, what we’re looking at here is time that you now look back upon with regret. Perhaps it’s challenging just to recall these periods of loss in your life, let alone really explore them.

But there are gems to be found in these difficult times; these gains may show themselves quickly or after a period of time has passed. The important thing is to be open to them, and that means opening to your mistakes in a new and different way so that you can reclaim the time you feel you have ‘lost.’ 

Retrieve Lost Time: 3 Steps

  • Reveal your heart.  Let your heart open to the lesson. The emptiness and pain you feel may be huge, but by drawing close to the intensity of your experience (rather than backing away) you shift your relationship to that time.
  • Open the door to new insights.  Investigate the lessons that come to mind. Ask yourself these questions:
    • What do you need to let go of to grow from this experience? 
    • What new insights can you carry forward on your journey? 
  • Wholeheartedly validate all good choices.  You have taken avital step, so be sure to validate it. Give yourself the compassion and encouragement you would extend to a friend. Truly celebrate your life path and allow your appreciation of yourself to grow.


When you expand your spirit and embrace your losses and your learning, and whatever feelings accompany your fresh insights, you are essentially recalibrating the relative “size” of things. Think of it as you standing up and saying, “I am bigger than this mistake. I can deal with it and learn from it.”  This is a fundamental act of self-loyalty that enables you to fully claim your power.

How will you set aside time to begin to find your life lessons, renew your faith in yourself, and reclaim your lost time?

And for more help…

We all have voices that chatter at us throughout the day. The Inner Critic is one of them. Learning to recognize (and counter) this destructive voice is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

You see, the Inner Critic is a negative, debilitating and constant presence in your life.  And it’s not just the words. It’s the judgmental tone, the rolling eyes, and the scolding wag of the index finger. Beyond sapping your energy and confidence, your Inner Critic robs you of time and profoundly distorts how you see others and how you feel about yourself. So, what can you do? 

Give yourself a big boost with my Exercise and Guide Book titled “These Critical Voices Are Driving Me Crazy!” How to Use Positive Self-Talk to Save Your Sanity and Your Time! Part of my popular Voices Package, this E-Guide offers simple, practical exercises, checklists and tips for learning to recognize and counter the critical voices that disrupt and hurt you.

“This guidebook is by a secret genius as far as I’m concerned.
Her name is Paula Eder and she is absolutely brilliant
when it comes to how to be in relationship with self and
how to be in relationship with time.”
Heather Dominick 

You hold the power to make conscious choices about the kinds of messages you give yourself. As you exercise this power, you’ll develop new clarity and confidence – and transform your time.

“These Critical Voices Are Driving Me Crazy!” opens the door and gives you a roadmap, so don’t wait. Click this link to learn more about the Voices Package and get started on your empowering journey today.

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