A recent study published online in “the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making” found that people better deal with hardships when they don’t excuse pass failures. Focusing on the emotions produced by a failure can help motivate someone to improve their performance on future tasks.
- The popular practice of excusing our mistakes makes us feel better, but it’s not the best way to go towards preventing future mistakes.
- Protecting ourselves from the effects of our mistakes, and protecting our egos often comes first. This emotional distancing makes us less likely to learn from those mistakes and avoid them in the future.
- Studies show that focusing on our emotions and feeling the pain of failure leads to more effort to correct your mistake and perform better in the future.
“Emotionally motivated participants spent nearly 25 percent more time searching for a low-priced book than did participants who had only thought about —rather than dwelled on the pain of — their earlier failure.”