What are mistakes? Maybe it’s that feeling of regret you get when you made an impulsive decision, instant buyer’s remorse, or you said a couple of wrong words to someone in a moment of passion. We make simple mistakes, mistakes with long term ramifications, and silly mistakes that just choke up our day. Or maybe there is no such thing as a mistake – everything happens for a reason, and anything we see as a mistake is just a part of our evergoing fate.
Whatever your take, there’s no doubt that throughout our day to day life we suffer through a number of silly and complicated things that make up the framework of our life. Don’t take your mistakes for granted. They are the reason we learn, grow, evolve and discover who we are through life – hopefully! Here’s a few ways to get over the little things and move on to the bigger picture.
1. Admit it to yourself
Ok, you messed up. Now, go forth! The first, first, first thing you have to do is acknowledge that you made a mistake. You need to skip “denial” all together! Sometimes our mistakes seem so small and effortless that we feel we do not need to acknowledge them. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was recently in the news for delivering a surprisingly hard elbow to the chest of a diplomatic member. Although it seemed like nothing happened to him (and to most of the world) he was forced to put on his pants and immediately apologize for his mistake. It was something that seemed so little, but had a much greater effect. Throw your pride aside, and just acknowledge it.
2. What’s next?
The waves of remorse are setting in, depending on the severity of the issue. You need to immediately be planning for the future here, without wasting one second of looking back on the immediate past. How to balance the situation into your favour, other people’s favour, and make amends is your instinctive reaction now. You need to guide your almost crashed ship back to shore, no matter what.
3. Has this happened before?
Have you made this mistake before? Maybe in your last relationship you had poor text etiquette, and it bothered your significant other. Is that reshaping now in your current relationship? How can you better adjust your perspective to balance the situation and make everyone happy. You don’t have to love texting, but maybe you can talk about it together, or make the most of your attitude by doing your best to be a better texter. Had a habit of running your credit card into the ground with online shopping? Now that you’re shopping online again, remember the mistake from before and let it stop you on page one of your search. Buy in smaller doses, and think carefully about your purchases. The human memory is amazing, and we should be using it to promote our future; not repeat our past.
4. Why did you do it?
It takes courage to take a minute or two to reflect on exactly what you were thinking when you made a mistake. When you can admit to your lapse in judgement, make a mental note of it so that you can come back to it when a similar situation rears its head again. Your brain will react using instincts of survival in order to send you on the right path – hopefully! So remember when you made impulsive decisions, the feeling you got afterward, and be able to respond to it when it comes back again.
5. Next time will be easier
Everyone remembers breaking up with their first love. Wow, was it ever hard. We were young, life was short, and we had a lot of emotions to deal with; regret, mistakes and poor decision making defined us! As we age, the emotional turmoil of breakups is still ever present, but we know how better to deal with it because it’s not our first time.
In our usual life, there are really only a few mistakes that have dire consequences that we can make, and we make them repeatedly. We may never truly learn from our mistakes, but what we do learn is how to build resilience. We get routine practice of conquering the feelings of mistakes and learn how to deal with the consequences like adults. By the end of it, we are professional mistake makers! We all do it, and hopefully one day we can all laugh at the silly things we’ve done throughout our life to get us to where we are now. So go ahead and make some more mistakes – don’t be ashamed or afraid when you do. You’re a professional! Take a firm grip of the situation and steer your path like you always have.
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