I’m sure I’m not alone in getting annoyed with myself for my failings, big or small.

Starting over seems to be attached to the places where one feels that the failure is so great that one is better off moving. House. Job. City. Relationship. Career and even Country. (I’ve tried the job and country thing a couple of times. It’s expensive, in more ways than one!)

When we escape, or run away, we get to leave the mess behind (or so we think) and start over.

In reality, we only end up taking the mess with us – hidden in a box or a book or a bag that one thought had been discarded. And that mess has an amazing way of turning up just when it is least welcome. Worst of all, when we run away, we often leave behind something of value – and sometimes that is a loss that may never be recovered.

I often imagine my life as if everyday was a part of the tapestry that flows out behind me as I wander from birth to death. In some places it’s clear that something has been repaired. The quality of the repair is what says it all.

Repairing ones own leadership is to ‘begin again’ consciously – looking at ones life through the lens of leadership, rather than looking at leadership through the lens of ones life.

In Leadership there is no “starting over”. It’s more of a stepping up and moving forward from where one stumbled. It can take awhile before we are able to deal with the mess, evaluate our role and what might need to change. And a whole while longer to get on with it.

I have to say that while I really enjoy personal growth and the insights that it brings, I haven’t always been good at the moving forward. I’ve managed to stay stuck in situations, looking for the way to make it OK for everyone else. While forgetting about what is OK for me.

So now my mantra for personal leadership is: Step Up. Fess Up. Clean Up. Move On. Each one in its own time.

How about you? Do you sweep your messes under the rug, or do you face yourself bravely in the mirror – and honour the human that you see – the self that is starting over?