What Are Your Greatest F*ck Ups?

I have greatly f*cked in my life. Haven’t we all? F*ck up’s can also be a fantastic opportunity for growth and change. I wanted to share where I have f*cked up, what I would do differently and what I would say to my younger self. What about you?

Here are some of my greatest mistakes and what I have done about them –

  • I Lacked Self-Awareness and Self-Compassion: I would invest in self-awareness early in my life and career. Self-awareness is the foundation of personal development. It involves understanding your own emotions, motivations, strengths, and weaknesses. To address a lack of self-awareness, consider mindfulness, journaling, or seeking feedback from others. Reflect on your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, and be open to constructive criticism. Self-awareness takes time and effort, but it can significantly enhance your ability to navigate challenges and make informed decisions. I would also be more compassionate to myself. I would be more focused on self-kindness and gratitude. I was too hard on myself; I am focused on being kind today. In turn, I found I am way kinder to others.
  • I Stopped Learning: After I left university, I thought yippie, no more books! Learning should be a lifelong journey. When we stop learning, we stagnate, and our skills become outdated. Embrace a growth mindset, which involves viewing challenges as opportunities for learning and development. Set aside time for continuous learning through reading, taking courses, attending workshops, or seeking new experiences. Stay curious and open-minded, and be willing to step outside of your comfort zone to acquire new knowledge and skills. I recommend that you learn leadership and anything related to self-development. Contact the team at LeadershipHQ to find out what we would recommend as our best books and courses.
  • I Lacked Confidence: I did not believe in myself. Confidence is not something everyone naturally possesses, but it can be cultivated over time. Start by identifying your strengths and accomplishments, and remind yourself of them regularly. Set achievable goals and celebrate your progress along the way. Practice self-compassion and challenge negative self-talk by replacing it with positive affirmations. Surround yourself with supportive people who encourage and uplift you. This is why I love to coach today and why having a coach for the past 17 years has made the most significant difference to my life and career. I use affirmations for my confidence and courage, which have helped me immensely. Own your inner “I just rock it!” as it is vital. Finally, do not compare yourself with others.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” — Theodore Roosevelt

  • I Didn’t Let People Go Soon Enough: When someone shows you who you are – believe them. Holding onto relationships or situations that no longer serve us can harm our emotional well-being and personal growth. It’s essential to recognise when it’s time to let go and move on, whether it’s a toxic friendship, a job that no longer fulfils you, or a situation causing you undue stress or unhappiness. While letting go can be challenging, it’s often necessary for self-care and growth. Practice setting boundaries, prioritising your needs, and surrounding yourself with supportive people who uplift and inspire you. Get people out of your rowboat who are not helping you row your boat. Please lift and support those that do!
  • I Didn’t Set Boundaries: This is critical. Setting boundaries is essential for maintaining your well-being and preserving healthy relationships. Start by identifying areas where you need to establish boundaries, whether in your personal relationships, work, or other areas. Communicate your boundaries clearly and assertively, and be prepared to enforce them if they are violated. Remember that setting boundaries is an act of self-care and self-respect, and it’s never too late to start prioritising your needs and boundaries. Finally, “no” is a fantastic word, and use it. Don’t be a pushover!
  • I Was Not Doing What Made Me Happy: Today, happiness is key in my life, and time is our most precious resource; living a fulfilling and authentic life means prioritising activities, relationships, and pursuits that bring joy and fulfilment. If you’ve been neglecting your happiness or sacrificing your passions for the sake of others or external expectations, it’s time to reassess your priorities. Please identify what makes you happy and invest in those pursuits wholeheartedly. Whether pursuing a creative passion, exploring a new hobby, or spending time with loved ones, prioritise self-care and happiness in your life. I have rediscovered painting and art today, and I love how happy this makes me feel.
  • I Was Afraid of Being True to Myself: There were days I felt I had to be someone else to fit in or be liked. Authenticity is crucial for a meaningful and fulfilling life. If you think that you haven’t been faithful to yourself, it’s essential to reconnect with your values, beliefs, and aspirations. Take time for self-reflection and introspection to understand what truly matters to you and what you want from life. Practice expressing yourself honestly and authentically in your relationships and interactions. Surround yourself with people who accept and appreciate you for who you are, and strive to live in alignment with your true self each day. Finally, it is okay not to be liked. It is empowering.
  • Staying in Jobs That Aren’t Right: I have done this many times, and it caused me a lot of heartache and stress. Spending significant time in a job that isn’t fulfilling or aligned with your values can be draining and detrimental to your overall well-being. If you are in this situation, taking proactive steps to assess your career satisfaction and exploring alternative options is essential. Start by identifying what aspects of your current job are dissatisfying and what you would ideally want in a job. Update your resume and LinkedIn profile, network with professionals in your field, and actively search for new opportunities that better align with your interests, skills, and career goals. While making a career change can be daunting, taking action to pursue a more fulfilling career path can lead to greater satisfaction and professional growth in the long run. Finally, I wish I had found my Ikigai earlier, and I am beyond grateful I found it now.
  • I Didn’t Speak Up or Use My Voice: Now I lean in and speak up big time! Feeling unheard or undervalued anywhere can be frustrating and demoralising. It’s essential to advocate for yourself and assert your voice and opinions, even in challenging or hierarchical environments. Find opportunities to speak up during meetings, share your ideas and perspectives, and contribute to discussions and decision-making. Build relationships with colleagues and supervisors who value your input and support your professional growth. If you encounter barriers to voicing your opinions, consider seeking mentorship or coaching to develop your communication and assertiveness skills. I wish I had spoken up more about how I felt and owned my feelings and thoughts. Remember that your voice matters, and advocating for yourself can lead to greater empowerment and recognition in your career.
  • I Did Not Take Risks: Courage, to me, is everything. The clock is ticking, and I now do everything possible to do uncomfortable things. Except for bungee jumping! I started a company with little money in the bank, and as a full-time solo parent – what a huge risk. Taking calculated risks is often essential for personal and professional growth. Stepping outside of your comfort zone and embracing new challenges can lead to valuable learning experiences and opportunities for advancement. Reflect on areas where fear of failure or uncertainty may have held you back from taking risks in the past. Identify opportunities to stretch yourself and take on new challenges, whether volunteering for a high-profile project, pursuing a leadership role, or exploring a new career path. Embrace a growth mindset and view setbacks as learning opportunities rather than failures. By taking calculated risks and pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone, you can unlock your full potential and achieve tremendous success and fulfilment in your personal and professional life. Step outside your comfort zone!
  • Yes, Not Seeking Financial Advice Sooner: This is not my superpower and finding someone to support me here was a game changer. Managing your finances effectively is crucial for long-term financial stability and security. If you have yet to seek financial advice, please contact a financial advisor or planner who can help you assess your financial situation, set goals, and develop a plan for reaching them. A professional can provide valuable insights and guidance tailored to your needs and circumstances. Remember that seeking financial advice is an investment in your future financial well-being. I also recommend Barefoot Investor as a book.
  • I Gained Too Much of My Self-Worth from Work: Huge mistake. I am not my work or business. They are part of me. While it’s natural to derive a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment from your work, it’s important not to base your self-worth solely on your job or career success. Your value as a person extends far beyond your professional achievements. Take time to cultivate other aspects of your life that bring you joy and fulfilment, such as hobbies, relationships, personal growth, and self-care. Engage in activities that nourish your soul and contribute to your overall well-being. Remember that your worth is inherent and not dependent on external factors like your job or career success.

What do you think? I will be sharing more of my best f*ck ups and lessons in the coming months.

Reflecting on past choices and identifying areas for growth is an integral part of personal development. You’re already on the path toward positive change and growth by acknowledging these areas where you feel you may have fallen short and taking proactive steps to address them. Be patient and compassionate with yourself as you navigate these challenges, and remember that it’s never too late to make positive changes in your life. It is also not too late to make changes and pursue a life that aligns with your values and aspirations.

Remember that everyone makes mistakes and faces challenges in life. What matters most is how we respond to them and what we learn from them.  Making changes and pursuing growth often requires courage and perseverance. Celebrate your progress and successes along the way, and continue to push yourself to reach new heights of personal and professional achievement.

You got this! We all f*ck up, and it doesn’t mean we are f*ck ups.