… is not the same as understanding why you failed.
Understanding why you failed gives birth to lessons that help you learn and do better the next time around.
On the other hand, rationalizing your failures gives birth to excuses.
Acknowledging your mistakes is the first step to learning. But, there’s a thin line between knowing your mistakes and making excuses.
A professional who struggles with bosses at work probably has deeply rooted problems in his family, especially with his parents. Once he understands that, he’ll know what to do and what to avoid. That’s understanding your failures.
But, if he keeps using the same reason whenever he keeps committing the same mistake, that’s rationalizing his failures.
Here’s the acid test: Understanding why you failed helps you move forward while rationalizing your failures holds you back from taking the next step.