Leaning from your mistakes and from negative feedback

The Right Food
May 9, 2012
Bulletproof V Experience
June 25, 2012
The Right Food
May 9, 2012
Bulletproof V Experience
June 25, 2012
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Leaning from your mistakes and from negative feedback

I don’t know for how long exactly, but it has been a while that I, and more than likely so have you been, continuously told that a negative mindset is a bad thing. That you must always focus on the positive.

Always look on the bright side of life (Thank you Monty Python)


“The glass is half full not half empty.”
“See the donut not the hole.”
“That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.”

But does having a positive attitude have a down side?

Apparently yes it does. As it is quite often stated in these types of postings….. Recent research has shown that having a positive mindset does actually reduce our ability/desire to learn from our mistakes. I know it sounds weird, but could it be true?

When you are in a positive frame of mind and things don’t go your way, do you just keep moving? Do you shrug it off as no big deal, nothings going to hold you back and everything will work out in the end?

I can see where a positive mindset would allow you to skip by some things to keep you looking forward as opposed to thinking about what has happened and why.

Where as on the other side of the coin, if you are in a negative headspace and something goes wrong, is your first reaction more inclined to have you throughly exploring what just happened so as to ascertain why things went pear shaped?

Head Hands

Do we get the ‘I am sick of this happening to me’ type approach and therefore you are more inclined to workout why things didn’t go the way you wanted?

Interesting isn’t it? When you look at it you can see how in some cases a positive mindset could actually reduce your ability to learn from your mistakes.

OK so let’s expand upon this a little more…What do you respond best to, negative or positive feedback?
If we better learn from our mistakes when we are in a negative frame of mind, do we respond better to feedback in the same way?

Apparently not according to some of the latest research, but then again it depends on your levels of experience.
The research is advocating that a novice will respond better to positive feedback where as an experienced person will quite often seek and responded to negative feedback.

Once again, not unusual when you think about it. When you are inexperienced you are trying to do things right, you are trying to find your way through everything you are seeing, hearing and learning.


At this point in your development chances are you can be a little fragile, perhaps lacking confidence in a few areas and therefore positive feedback probably does lend itself to keeping you focussed, upbeat and moving along.

But once you get a certain level of experience, a particular level of belief in yourself, your knowledge and ability to get the job done, negative feedback doesn’t always hurt as much. You are not quite as fragile and therefore the people around you can see that so they are a little more prepared to tell it like it is, so that you can be alerted to your blind spots. They try to help you to understand, deal with and operate around the way it is not the way you might want it to be.

But now, as I am thinking this through I am not so sure negative feedback is always heard or acted upon as much when you have a certain level of experience, skill and therefore ego. You have the runs on the board, you are an experienced campaigner, you are better than this person who is telling you what you are doing wrong.

So why would you listen to them? For that matter why do you need to listen to anyone?

Simple answer. So…

The Journey Continues!

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