Several years ago when I first became a manager, I realized my accomplishments seemed fewer and further between. Every setback seemed to push me even further away from any real sense of accomplishment and I constantly feared failing and having my abilities questioned.
Recently, while taking some training on mentoring children, I was reminded of Carol Dweck’s theories of intelligence (Growth vs Fixed mindset). If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s a good read. The training I was participating in details how you interact with children, provide feedback, praise them, etc in a way that fosters the thinking that failures are learning opportunities, challenges are exciting. It’s not about how smart they think they are, but how capable they believe they can be through persistence and effort. What I realized was that it’s easy to fall back onto this idea that you either do something and succeed or you do something and you fail – instead of thinking, well I failed, how do I do better, what can I tweak to succeed.
This is a bit fluffy of a read, but has some good tips to develop your growth mindset: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/adopt-a-growth-mindset-and-stop-fearing-criticism-and-failure/