In his hit song “Red Ragtop,” Tim McGraw sings, “I can’t remember who I was back then.” I heard it on the radio the other day and it made me realize — I have a very short memory.

Sure, I vividly remember the important parts of my life — starting my own business, getting married and having my children. But the things I can’t remember very well? The not-so-good times.

That said, I believe that having the ability to forget allows me to move forward without being hung up on the errors in my past. I’ve taken a lot of risks and failed many times in my life, but I walked away focusing on the lessons learned instead of the mistakes. Why spend time thinking about those? You will fail, you will get bloody knees, and yes, it will suck. The key is to fail fast, pack the memory away and move forward.

Here are four tips to do this successfully.

1. Learn from your mistakes and celebrate them. The best lessons usually take place at the worst times. Setbacks give you an opportunity to grow stronger and improve. It’s fine to fail sometimes; just keep pushing forward with the new knowledge you acquired.

Some companies even celebrate mistakes. Why? Most mistakes are made when someone takes a risk. Innovativeness should be commended, not shamed. Some management consultants, like Peter Drucker and myself, even encourage business leaders to fire employees who never make mistakes, because that probably means they never do anything interesting.

2. Remind yourself that your successes are far more notable than your failures. Unless you veer off the rails and do something senseless, people will forgive your failures and only recall the positive work you do. Accept that mistakes will happen and let go of the negative energy.

3. Don’t worry about what other people think of you. So that out-of-the-box event you planned didn’t generate as much consumer interest as you had anticipated? Don’t be ashamed about this failure, and don’t worry about how other people will think of you because of it. Instead of spending time agonizing over how you’re being perceived, use that time to think about how you can do things differently next time.

4. Openly discuss your wins and losses. You are not alone in this ride. Business leaders everywhere experience very similar degrees of pain and cheer. When you share and listen to others, you’ll quickly discover that you’re going to be just fine.

There are endless stories of athletes, business leaders and entrepreneurs who have failed time and time again, but they got up and kept moving to build a winning legacy. That’s how they are remembered. And how you can be, too.

This story was originally published in The Tennessean.