You have likely heard the saying When Life Throws You Lemons, Make Lemonade before.  This is an older but important saying when it comes to dealing with the ups and downs of life.

None of us are immune to changes that may come our way.  It may be a job loss, eating poorly, dealing with a lot of stress, not getting that big promotion, or needing to develop our business and leadership skills.  Life happens.  However, it is how we deal with those lemons that are being thrown at us that makes life and career move forward in a better way.

Where to start?  It’s not easy, but self-reflection can be key to helping you make lemonade with those lemons you are collecting.  For example, you find out you did not get that next big job or promotion you wanted.  You go home and cry – please do…you need to feel your emotions.  You now have at least two choices.  One, you do nothing and let those lemons continue to hit you and beat you down.  The second is to learn from what did not go well.  This is the better choice as you can learn and grow and, in our example, perhaps rock the next job interview so well that they have no choice but to hire you.  One way to do a self-reflection is to ask yourself what went wrong in this situation.  Then ask others how you could improve next time (in our example, something you should do if you don’t get that next big promotion or you won’t know how to get it next time), then gather those lemons make lemonade. 

Here are some great questions to ask yourself in a self-reflection:

What went very well? 

What strengths did I use that I can always grow and develop?

What did not go well?

What feedback can I get (if possible) from someone else in order to grow from what happened?

What is the big take away I learned from this experience?

How can I improve?

What is the next goal based on this improvement?

What are the steps to make this improvement?

And other questions a coach can guide you through to overcome whatever is holding you back.

Then when you make another mistake or fail again, start all over and improve once again.  I tell many career coaching clients, for example, that for every no you receive and grow from, you get one step closer to that big yes.

Gather those lemons and make that first batch of lemonade from your learning.  That lemonade may not be perfect the first time and you may only sell a couple of bottles.  But with every mistake or failure you make, continue to gather those lemons each time, start to build a positive relationship with whomever is throwing them at you, learn from what did not go well, and take a chance to improve it every time, to the point you can sell out anywhere!

If you need some guidance or accountability to your self-reflection and growth, reach out to us at to start your conversation.

Written by: Tara Lehman

(image from Microsoft stock images)

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