The most common way we derail the impression we are trying to make and the point of view we are putting out there is by expressing regret.
"I wish I had gotten an MBA."
"It was a mistake to ask for a raise."
"Investing in Las Vegas real estate was the beginning of the end for me."
What's very wrong with regret?
Well, to begin with, it is negative. Negative doesn't transmit well across our neural Wi-Fi.
Secondly, because it involves the past, it marks us as old. Youth doesn't sit around chewing the fat about the past.
Third, everyone in the know knows that regret constitutes our fantasy about the past. It puts forth a story line that is not based on fact. Had we gotten the MBA we might have leveraged that information wrong and wound up in the slammer. People consider us stupid for not knowing that we couldn't know where we'd been had we taken such and such a fork in the road.
The useful way to frame our past is to point to how it served our purpose. For example, I can say, "The years I didn't put into getting me an MBA allowed me focus on getting published. That paid off in a gold-plated portfolio." People hear that and they move toward us, not away from us.