Obsessing over past mistakes or actions is one of the surest ways to obstruct and slow your way to success. Rarely, if ever, do good things come out of overanalyzing the things we can’t change. Once it’s in the past, we have no control over it anymore. But we can control our future. We can and should use our past mistakes as lessons learned.

Here’s how to use your past to motivate yourself forward instead of letting it get in the way of your future goals.

Understand that what you have done does not define your potential.

This is a common misunderstanding and an idea you need to get out of your head immediately. What you have or have not already accomplished in life does not define the potential you have to accomplish things in the future. However, who you are as a person does. If you know in your gut that you have a fearless and bold soul, you won’t let anything get in the way of your success even after you’ve failed 100 times over. Understand that the type of person you are says a lot more about what you can accomplish than what is on your resume.

Be aware of your potential and remind yourself of it often.

Even in the midst of failure, be aware of your potential. Remind yourself that you are capable of anything you set your mind to. Try to maintain a clear mindset with all things in life, and it will be easier to remember your potential even when things get complicated. By reminding yourself of your potential often, not only will you motivate yourself to get up, wipe your hands, and try again, but you will also inspire others to do the same. Your potential is what will help others recognize their own.

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes and make them.

Don’t be afraid to fail. Be audacious when it comes to anything that has to do with chasing your dreams. Make mistakes, and make tons of them because often times mistakes are what lead to breakthroughs. Making mistakes is how we learn what doesn’t work and what will work better next time around. As imperfect humans, remember that failure is how we best learn what we are capable of.

So use your failure as inspiration, not discouragement, to try again and again to get it right the next time.