We all make mistakes throughout our lives. It’s normal. It’s human. If you try to avoid making mistakes, you will run into all kinds of trouble, ranging from indecisiveness and stagnation to severe depression.
Allowing yourself to live fully would inevitably lead to a few mistakes being made by you and that’s ok. Learn from your mistakes and cherish this knowledge. It is yours to help you recognise the same mistakes in advance and to make the right choices in the future.
Don’t beat yourself up, don’t shame or punish yourself when you mess things up. Of course, you will feel many different emotions arising within you when you know that you were responsible. Don’t try to suppress these emotions. They are there for a purpose! Let them flow and run their course.
If you are angry with yourself or falling into a trap of blaming others for your mistakes, do whatever it takes to understand, accept and release this anger and blame in a mature way.
We can feel angry without hurting or abusing others or ourselves. We can learn to deal with anger in ways that benefit our relationships instead of ways that harm them. — Melody Beattie
If you are feeling sad and helpless, have a good cry, listen to a sad song that moves you. Let your emotions melt away. Let the tears flow. Be alone and sad, feel the despair. (Note: I am not talking days or even hours here! It is a helpful exercise, not a new lifestyle). Then, bring yourself back to a state of balance by altering your physical state, i.e. move and do something even if you don’t feel like doing it! Go for a walk, play with your kids/pets or take a shower, for example.
If you are feeling sorry, guilty or ashamed, apologise! If other people were casualties of your mistakes (directly or indirectly), contact them. Talking is good. Don’t let your fear stop you from taking this action. We live in such a great world of e-mails and text messages! Use these communication tools, if you must. If this is still not possible, write an apology letter (There’s no need to send it, as the benefits are purely in writing to release your emotions).
As Richard Templar put it: Wisdom isn’t about not making mistakes but about learning to escape afterwards with our dignity and sanity intact.
We will never stop making mistakes. As we grow and learn, new opportunities present us with new mistakes and vice versa!
Understanding this natural rule of being a human allows us also to look at other people with compassion. They are messing things up from time to time too. Once you grasp this concept, you might even begin to accept people who have hurt you and be open to resolve the issues with them in a more constructive and understanding way. Or maybe, you just let them go and focus on your own life (full of mistakes, of course!)
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Stay strong, remain hopeful and seek inspiration!