: "Performance Doesn't Determine Character Beyond acknowledging the value of mistakes, there's a deeper reality that will help you free yourself from a debilitating fear of failure. That fear is often the result of an unacknowledged belief that the results of your efforts and your quality as a person are inexorably linked.
In truth, there's no connection between the results you achieve at work (or in sports) and your quality as a human being. This simple but profound insight can free you to be a more natural and mentally tough performer in all aspects of your life. The reason is that if you link mistakes to who you are as a person, you'll exaggerate the emotional responses of your actions.
Either consciously or subconsciously, your emotions lead you to think that if you perform poorly you did something wrong -- or worse, that you're a bad person. But just because things don't work out doesn't mean you've erred. You may have made the absolutely right decision and failed in the execution. Or maybe you selected the right course of action and did everything you were supposed to do, but your competitor got lucky.
It's equally important to know that just because something worked out well doesn't mean you did something right or were thinking correctly. You may have made the wrong decisions and just got a lucky break. If it worked this time, don't count on it happening again, especially when the stakes are high.