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Stop learning from your mistakes

“I tried that and it didn’t work, so I’m not trying again.

If that’s the lesson you took from “learning from your mistakes,” you’re doing it wrong.

You’ve probably experienced the sunk cost fallacy

You might have heard of the “sunk cost fallacy,” but the opposite, but still unnamed fallacy can be even worse.

The sunk cost fallacy is where you continue to spend more time or money because of… reasons.

“I can’t quit now.”


“I paid good money for this.”

The opposite is worse, because it means never getting what you want or need, and all because you already feel like you spent too much time or money on it before.

Here’s an example for each.

The sunk cost fallacy means staying at Disneyland even though you’re miserable.

Photo by AbdElmomen Kadhim from Pexels

It’s raining, you’re cold, sick, your back hurts, and you have blisters. But you paid a lot of money for those tickets, so…

The opposite fallacy means never going back to Disneyland because you spent that money the last time and “look what happened.”

You don’t go back, even though you NOW have good evidence for how you can have a better experience should you choose to try again.

With sunk costs, you do lose out, but you eventually move on. If it was a bad idea, lesson learned, so there’s that.

But with the opposite outlook over your goals, you will never get what you need or what you want.

Even though there’s plenty of evidence that you can have it, and even how you can get it.

That’s a lose lose situation.

Luckily, you can avoid this trap pretty easily now that you know it’s there.

Look to your own experience.

What parts worked?

Even when the whole might have failed.

What did you like or dislike?

What can you learn from yourself?

Look to the experiences of those who have succeeded.

What are they doing that makes them succeed?

What did they do to recover when they failed?

How did they handle likes and dislikes?

How can you learn from them?

The truth is out there, but you have to look.

  • You didn’t finish your book because life got in the way, but you know authors who’ve found ways to finish, write the next one, and even go on to an author career.
  • You’ve tried diets that didn’t work, but you see others have lost weight and even kept it off for 5, 10, 20 years.
  • You tried dictation and stopped because the program you paid for is no longer working or supported, but others have figured out a way to talk more words in a day than you can type in a week.

Yes, it sucks that you invested time, energy, and money on your dream goal before, but it’s important to look at this in isolation AND learn from the past.

Ask yourself these questions

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Ask yourself these questions

  1. Is it still important to me?

  2. Is there evidence that it can be done?

  3. Can I learn from someone who’s done it before or who’s helped others succeed?

Learning from your mistakes. You can do it right

Learning from your mistakes doesn’t mean giving up, and it certainly doesn’t mean never trying again.

Learning from your mistakes means using your experience and those of other people like you to make things better the next time.

Whether it’s a coach, a mentor, or a more successful writing partner, you owe it to yourself and your dreams to pay attention, reach out, and ask for help.

If you’re not trying because you’ve tried before, let’s talk.

I make space on my schedule every week to talk to authors who need some help with writing, health, platform building, and you can get on my schedule here or using the link below.

Get on Roland’s calendar

If I’m not the right coach for you, I know all the best ones, and I’m happy to point you in the right direction. 😊

Talk soon,




Roland Denzel

Roland has been helping authors just like himself be more productive and write more books, all while staying healthy, happy, and sane since 2015.

Read his story right here, and if you want to send him a message, visit Roland's contact page here.

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