Don't let your past mistakes paralyze you

Never let your past mistakes and experiences prevent you from taking on new challenges or opportunities.

Most of us have had jobs that wound up being a bad fit, not to mention been in at least one relationship that ended badly.

But you should never let the fear of going through another bad experience keep you from taking on a promising job or starting a new relationship that has the makings of a fruitful union.

After all, it's experience that teaches us what we did wrong so that it won't happen again in the future. Next time a seemingly great job opportunity or dating prospect comes into the picture, we should be better equipped to determine whether either is right for us, given the lesson we learned the first time.

Thus, experience should serve to facilitate growth and progress in our lives, not inhibit it. 

I realize it can feel like a big gamble to take the plunge once more after being left hurt or disillusioned the last time. But integral to the human experience is being able to get up again after being knocked down. Indeed, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger -- it girds us for the next time we're in a similar situation. Experience helps us make informed decisions.

This doesn't mean we can't make more missteps later on. Think about all the people who've gotten married and divorced several times in their lives. Many will admit that the warning signs were there from the beginning with each of their ex-spouses, and yet they still proceeded to marry them.

The key is to leverage experience for our benefit so that we can minimize the likelihood of making similar mistakes in the future.

A bad experience can be quite dispiriting at first, but we stand to emerge stronger and wiser. Sometimes, the only way to appreciate things -- the only way to know what we truly want and what's ultimately right for us -- is to go through an unfavorable experience. Rather than being gripped by fear thereafter, we should have a newfound resolve to embrace new opportunities and tackle any challenges life throws our way.

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