#1768 Make a Mistake?

Say: “NOT Me!”

In our last several +1s (here, here and here), we’ve been hanging out with Alden Mills and exploring wisdom from his new book Unstoppable Mindset.

Today we’re going to spend another moment with him then we’ll wrap up our quick tour through his great book.


Get your CAN of Whoop-Ass ready and let’s get to work! 🤓

We’re going to talk about what to do when you make a mistake…

Note: This is a REALLY cool idea…

Alden tells us: “Remember: The single most important leadership role you have is leading yourself, and the mindset required when you make a mistake involves leading how you think and feel. You must learn to be kind to yourself. Another way to look at this is by asking yourself, Hey, is it helpful or hurtful to make myself feel bad for missing that shot? Pretend for a moment you’re coaching yourself. Answer that question—helpful or hurtful. You know the answer; it’s hurtful. All it does is add more pressure to your next action, compounding the odds of making another mistake. Instead, you want to reduce the pressure on yourself by lowering the stakes of your next action. Break down the action into smaller chunks and find something positive about each next action you take so you can find small wins that will build upon each other.”

He continues by saying: “The key to this is first stopping the process of taking actions that are not helpful to your success. This is why I created the acronym NOT Me! with inspiration from Dr. Nate Zinsser’s book The Confident Mind. (I have long used NOT Me! but I love how Dr. Zinsser details three specific traits: Temporary, Non-representative, and One-off. I have built a mnemonic combining his words with my acronym of NOT Me!) I want you to use it to coach yourself into not repeating a past mistake and move on to performing at your potential.”

And, Alden tells us: “NOT Me! stands for:

Not representative of what I can do;
One-off action that is not normal of the actions I take; and
Temporary mistake that will not last because my next action will be better.

‘NOT Me!’ is what I want you to say every time you make a mistake that you don’t want to repeat. Essentially, the mistake you made was not your best. Therefore, it’s not you—it is not representative of who you are or what you are capable of. The mistake was nothing more than a cosmic speed bump, a blip, an aberration, a hiccup in time that just reminds you that you are human and imperfect. That’s all; nothing more, nothing less. You will learn from the mistake later, but at this moment in the middle of your performance, sweep it to the side and get back to performing at your best. NOT Me! is a powerful yet simple coaching mantra that you can repeat to yourself to keep yourself calm and relaxed.”

I absolutely LOVE that.

It reminds me of Lanny Bassham’s “Needs work!” mantra he used after missing a shot vs. the “That’s like me!” mantra he’d use after HITTING a bulls-eye. It’s a REALLY powerful way to forge a strong self-image which is a REALLY important thing to do well.

Dominate something?

Say to yourself: “THAT’S LIKE ME!”

Not dominating it?

Say to yourself “THAT’S NOT LIKE ME!

Know this: The elements of the “NOT” acronym are the essence of The 3 P’s of Martin Seligman’s “explanatory styles” from his classic book, Learned Optimism.

(See: +1 on Failure Is a L-I-E.)

When something goes wrong for Optimistic people, they don’t take it “Personally” (“Not representative of what I can do”); they don’t make it “Pervasive” (“One-off action that is not normal of the actions I take”); and they don’t make it “Permanent” (“Temporary mistake that will not last because my next action will be better”).

I repeat...

Dominate something?

Say to yourself: “THAT’S LIKE ME!”

Not dominating it?

Say to yourself “THAT’S NOT LIKE ME!”


All day, every day.



Unlock this Heroic +1 (and over 1,000 more)!

Create your account to get more wisdom in less time. Personal development made simple so you can flourish in energy, work, and love. Today.

Sign Up Today