4 Tips For Working Through Your Mistakes

I just looked at my calendar and noticed that there are 12 weeks to Thanksgiving, and 17 weeks from today is Christmas!!  18 Mondays from now it will be 2024!  Just saying that I am starting to fret about getting this year’s goal completed.  What will I do? 

Before I allow myself to get into the mire of my incomplete goals, I need to remember what I have accomplished this year.

I know, I know, I need to focus on how far I have progressed, but this little inner critic inside me tends to change the focus to the mistakes I have made. Ugh!

No one, not even me, is immune to making mistakes. What is important is learning from the mistakes.

I heard a phrase a long time ago that I need to remember, but often forget.

A mistake is not a failure. It is something that goes wrong, and then you fix it.

We can gain knowledge and experience from our slip-ups. In doing so, we become more capable of navigating life’s ups and downs with minimal stress and anxiety.

So today, while I am drinking my cold brew Passion Fruit, Mano, and Peach tea, I would like to share a few tips I have learned about working through my own mistakes.

So, let’s get started.

1.                      Own Your Mistakes

The first step in working through any mistake and learning from it is – admit to it. It’s not easy owning up to our oversights, but it’s part of the process of growth and self-discovery.

Try not to make excuses or justify your actions. I have to admit that it’s a lot easier to hide behind some lame reason or just blame someone else for what happened.

Let’s face it; we’re all afraid of being criticized and judged. But, when you do hide away, you only feel good for a little while.  Soon after, the guilt starts to eat away at you.

So, while difficult to do, holding yourself accountable will be better for you in the long run. It will give you peace of mind, plus, you’ll gain the respect of your peers as well as yourself.

2.                      Shift Your Perspective

I always say, everything starts with Perspective.

Consider J.K. Rawlings and her Harry Potter series. The first book was rejected 12 times before it was accepted and look what it has become. She continued working on it to see it come to completion.

We usually don’t focus on the journey of others we deem successful. Instead, we fast forward to the part where we see they became famous, forgetting that they spent days, weeks, even years slipping up and trying to fix their errors.

3.                      Stop Dwelling on the Past

It’s only natural to find yourself fixated on that time you spilled coffee all over your presentation. Or when you stumbled on your way up the stairs and nearly ran into your boss.

Yet, dwelling on the past and overthinking are two of the biggest barriers to working through your mistakes. This is a struggle for me.

Dwelling has a negative effect on self-esteem. It leads you to become more anxious and apprehensive and it holds you back from moving on.

When you feel like your negative self-talk is taking over, you have to make a conscious effort to stop it before it gains momentum. Show yourself the same kindness and empathy you’d show to a friend.

The best way to do that is to make peace with your mistakes.

You can’t change what happened. So, use what you learned to avoid making the same mistake in the future.

4.                      Make New Mistakes

It doesn’t matter how old you are or what position you hold in your family or workplace, you will make mistakes. Everyone does!! They’re a natural part of being human.

The only thing you can do is to make the most of your mistake and use it as a learning tool. This way, you’ll minimize their impact on your mental and emotional health, and you’ll be able to pick up the pieces much more efficiently.

When you mess up – own it!  Change your perspective on it and use it as a learning experience. Then move forward, don’t dwell on it.  And accept, you will make another mistake. It’s inevitable. It’s life. It’s okay.

I once heard an employer respond when a customer made a complaint about one of his employees, “Yes he made a mistake, that’s okay. If he didn’t make any, then I would know he wasn’t working and he wasn’t trying.”

So take a deep breath, drink your tea, and move on.

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