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Internal defeat is a mindset, where you begin to believe that most your new ideas will fail. You might think -”After all, what I tried in last month’s marketing campaign, failed.”

Learn From Your Mistakes

You always have the opportunity to learn from mistakes.  Look at your mistakes clearly as a test, examine your process and results, and study them closely for the reason why things did not go as planned.

Whether it is a marketing plan, delivering a speech, making free throws, learning to meditate, starting a business, or trying anything new, it is better to act and make mistakes than do nothing at all.

You Must Fail to Succeed

The most successful people, I know, accept mistakes as part of the learning curve. They make all of their so-called failures learning experiences. This is extremely powerful when you consider the cost of learning anything of value.

How much has your education cost you up to this point? How much has it cost your company? Did it ever cross your mind that you might stop learning at some point in life? I don’t think so. Have you learned from your past mistakes? Of course you have.  Now you are wiser and more effective because of the many corrective adjustments, you have made over time.

You Will Fail, But Not Finally

When you were a child learning to ride a bicycle, you experienced many falls along the way, and then the falling stopped. However, even skilled adults fall off of bicycles, sometimes.  You will fail, but if you keep at it you will eventually succeed.  Don’t take your past failures personally. Put them in the past and learn from each one of them.

The Wright Brothers had failures before they succeed.  Henry Ford had failures, too, but nobody seems to remember that fact. Just like them, you are not a  failure even though you may have failed in the past, just like they did. Each time that you get down on yourself, look back on your list of accomplishments.

Make a Commitment to Success

When you take on your next project, do your research first, develop your plan, assemble your team as necessary, make a full commitment to succeed, and never mentally quit before you start.  Finally, whenever it is possible, learn from the mistakes of others. Learn by reading books about successful people, talking with successful people, or talking with experts in the field.  Do your work and you will save money, avoid known mistakes, pitfalls, and traps and ultimately you will succeed. Have a success-full week.  “I’ll see you at the top.”

* J Thomas Smith is host of “Sunday Morning Live” on KMJQ/Majic 102.1 (9-11 am). He is an attorney, author, keynote speaker and mental health consultant. Your comments are welcome: Follow on Twitter @drjtsmith102.