Rethinking Past Experiences

There is a traditional narrative that once we leave education, we will enter a profession or company and stay on that career path for the rest of our working lives. For some that may still be true and that’s fantastic! For others though, that is a daunting prospect.

If you trained in an area that you no longer want to work in or the dream job you’ve had for the last 10 years is not as dreamy as it once was, then now it could be a good time to do a bit of research. One of the most common emotions people fear is the feeling that they have wasted time.

Nothing is wasted if you enjoyed what you were doing at the time. If you didn’t have fun, it has at least brought you to the point when you feel able to take on a major change to your life. We want to help you on your way to this new career or lifestyle change. Here are our top tips on how to reframe that ‘wasted’ time and use it as the perfect basis from which to grow.

Embracing a Growth Mindset

A ‘growth mindset’ has nothing to do with focusing your efforts on economic growth or creating economies of scale but more to do with how you view innate talent and hard work.

Those who believe that skill and proficiency can be developed through hard work and continuous learning have a growth mindset.

In the long run, they will be higher achievers than those with what is termed a ‘fixed mindset’ as these individuals rely more heavily on simply being good at something and are, therefore, less inclined to put much extra effort in.

If we can adopt a growth mindset, then we can start to view each experience as having some innate value. In our society, knowledge and learning are given high status and so we see them not as wasted time but as knowledge acquisition. You never know when something might be useful to you.

rethinking past experiences

Lessons from Adversity

Few of us are naturally good at everything we try, there will always be something that is a struggle.

Personally, I struggled hugely with Chemistry at school. Nothing would stay in my head for more than 5 minutes, and that was on a good day. But, I had an exam to pass and a minimum grade requirement for me to stay at my school. With the support of a very patient teacher and even more patient parents, not to mention 500 flash cards and full days of repetition, I passed that exam with flying colours. Everyone was surprised.

I dropped Chemistry after that exam and have never revisited it as a subject but do I see those endless hours of work as wasted time when I could have been doing literally anything else? No. I put my mind to something that was way beyond my skill base, I put effort in and the end result was better than expected.

Although I don’t remember a single word of that revision and would probably not be safe in a Chemistry lab, I saw that one really can achieve anything if they are willing to put the work in. It was a good lesson to learn as a teenager.

Learning from mistakes

This is no surprise to anyone but, just because you know something, doesn’t mean you take any notice of it!

Throughout our lives we have learnt through trial and error with varying degrees of success. Remember to keep in mind the phrase ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again’. Just don’t try the same thing continuously and expect a different result. Learn from your mistakes, but don’t let them stop you from achieving your goal.

Cultivating Resilience

Taking time to break down the process of ideating, projecting, forming and launching a new business venture into individual steps is crucial. Everything you do is a step closer towards what you want to achieve. And when faced with a setback, breaking down the next moves is a beneficial technique that will stop you feeling overwhelmed and unmotivated.

The Role of Perspective: Shifting Views on Past Events

Maybe your first startup didn’t work or you put a lot of resources into a product that flopped. You made a decision based on the facts you had at that time but it didn’t work out how you wanted it to. It’s over now and you can’t change the situation.

As hard or embarrassing as it may be, it’s taught you more about yourself, your belief systems, your coping mechanisms and, maybe, also a bit about who your true support network is. Making mistakes means we have a chance to find out more about who we are and just how resilient we can be. It’s not all bad!

Self-Compassion and Forgiveness

We all have regrets and wish things hadn’t happened in the way they did. Be gentle with yourself and forgive that past version of yourself. If you can make peace with that past version then you can grow more in the future, in both your personal and professional life.

Utilising Past Experiences: Applying Lessons in Present Life

When your past failure happened, there was a reason for that. If you can identify it, then you can use it as your guide for the next time you launch a product. The only real mistake we can make is not learning from our experiences.

Inspiring Stories: Examples of Individuals Who Turned Setbacks into Success

Everywhere you look there are people with incredible stories about how they have overcome setbacks to live the life they thought they deserved. It doesn’t have to be a social media star or a Hollywood actor, it could be a family member, your friend or someone in your local community.

Find people who you can relate to but try not to compare yourself. “Comparison is the thief of joy…” so don’t let your own achievements be overshadowed by another’s. That’s their story, not yours.

rethinking past experiences

Moving Forward

Plan: start loving lists and writing down ideas, steps and anything else you need to do to help you on your way. Yes, this is permission to go and buy another notebook (these are very lovely!) You can always go back and change things. And don’t worry about it being neat or messy, as long as you know what it means. You can formalise it later on!

Reach out: if you feel overwhelmed or stuck, talk to someone. The Flowerista Ecosystem is full of experts with a very broad business knowledge base.

Read up: there is no such thing as knowing everything so find a book, articles, audiobooks, podcasts, social media accounts of industry specialists or people who have started something similar to your dream and see what they suggest! You don’t have to follow everything but you will get a feel for what is right for you.

Have a go: ‘Done is better than perfect’ is the Business’n’Play matra for a reason. And anyway, what does perfect even mean?!

Good luck and let us know if you have any thoughts or anything to add to this list. Be gentle with yourself and know that you can always try again tomorrow.