Take care of your brain

Take care of your brain“Yes I’ve put that in my ‘stuff up’ folder” was the reply as we discussed a small error that one of my team had just made. Now the error the person had made was on a task they had never done before, (ever!) and hadn’t been trained for, but they labelled it a stuff up.

Immediately I replied you shouldn’t be calling it a ‘stuff up folder’. A ‘learning’s folder’ maybe or a ‘helpful notes’ folder, but when you use the term ‘stuff up’ you tell your brain that you failed.

We do this often as human beings. Use destructive language on ourselves. By tagging it as a ‘stuff up’ we run the risk of telling ourselves a story of failure and if that goes too far, we become scared of risk and trying new things.

There are of course many forms of ‘stuff ups’

I always do that wrong…

I’m useless at …

I could never …

Sometimes they are really valid.

But often they are phrases we need to single out for what really they are, and intentionally replace with positive statements. And by doing so, we take better care of our brain, and free ourselves up to learn more.

2 thoughts on “Take care of your brain

  1. I guess this might just be playing with words but the first thing that came to mind when I read this was – should “stuff ups” always be seen as failures? To some degree could we categorise stuff ups as a positive or neutral statement – not in a fluffy “learning opportunity” way but just recognising that something didn’t work?

    We really need to train ourselves so we can honestly see something that didn’t work, or went wrong, call it for what it is but not deem it a failure.

    Basically though, too many of us struggle with getting this sort of thing right.


    1. I am probably just playing with words. I guess at core is the context of the statement. In this case the persons internal narrative was one of ‘I really stuffed up and I’m a failure’ rather than ‘I took a risk, made an error and learnt’.


Comments are closed.