I have a friend who was always successful in business to the point where had made a lot of money by a relatively young age. Then, through a series of misfortunes, his business failed and he went broke. Although at the time of his misfortune he was quite young and easily had the ability, the resourcefulness and the ideas to start again, but instead he turned into a bitter and angry man who blamed the world for his loss.
Holding on to past failures and mistakes takes a lot of energy. One of the best lessons I have learned, not only in business but also in life, has been the power of letting go. The quicker we learn to let go the better. And whilst it does take considerable effort to let go, especially of a situation that has really upset you, the more you do it, the easier it gets.
A long time ago I had a business partner who took literally everything I owned. He left me with a pile of debts and a battered and bruised ego. I spent a year feeling really angry with him and feeling sorry for myself.
Then one morning I woke up and realized how much energy it was taking to hold on to this anger so tightly. I was physically suffering from my rage--I had boils all over my body, I wasn't sleeping, I was short-tempered and unhappy. That morning I decided to just let it all go, to learn from the situation, and to put a little faith in the universe and the law of karma. The change was amazing--my boils cleared up within a few days, I started to sleep like a baby and my whole disposition lightened so I could enjoy life again.
Identifying the issues you are holding onto that are draining you of energy is the first step to letting them go. Then you have to ask yourself two questions:
QUESTION 1 - What have you got to gain by holding on to this issue?
QUESTION 2 - What have you got to gain by letting it go?
In a business context, if a member of your staff steals from you, it's easy to decide that you will never trust another employee again. Worse still, you might start to imagine that everyone is trying to steal from you. You will become paranoid and spend all of your energy worrying about this issue. But how can you grow your business if you don't empower people and trust them to do the right thing?
If you have a bad experience with a client, don't assume that everyone is going to be same. If you try a marketing initiative and it doesn't work, don't classify all marketing as useless and a waste of money.
From my experience, businesses that are stuck in the victim mode, regardless of the reason, tend to struggle to prosper. It is only when they let go of past experiences or mistakes that they can actually move forward.