A Note On Making Mistakes & Moving Forward From Them
I posted a tweet recently which gaged quite a large and unexpected response. It read “I’m not going to beat myself up over past mistakes any more. I made them, I learned from them, I moved on from them. Plain and simple.” It might seem blasé to some, but it’s a coping mechanism that I’m slowly learning to adjust to. I’ve made many mistakes across my life thus far, and beat myself up over every single one, even when they weren’t my fault. Today, I’m letting you in on my three steps to accepting your mistakes, as well as the changes that follow suit when you do so.
Nobody’s perfect. That’s not a justification of anyone’s behaviour, mistake or not. But at the end of the day, it’s still a fact. I spend so much of my time beating myself up over past mistakes, when in reality, there’s nothing that can be done about it once it happened. People make mistakes every single day, in every thinkable scenario. So please don’t single yourself out as the only one screwing up. Repeat after me, everyone does it at some stage. Once a mistake has been made, there’s no going back and no changing it. But that isn’t the point, so stay with me here. What’s next on the agenda and what matters is to deal with it the right way, rationally and responsibly, and then move forward from it.
Learn from it
A super important aspect to making mistakes. Always try to learn something from everything you do, whether it be right or wrong. There’s always something positive that can be taken from any given situation. And chances are, it’ll make for a better result if a similar scenario comes about again. We should always be learning, striving for better for ourselves. And making mistakes isn’t an exception to the rule. I made a major mistake recently that I’ll regret forever, but at the end of the day, I learned a lot from it. I know it was wrong, I know why it was wrong, and I know how to deal with things better in the future. That isn’t to say you can justify all behaviour this way, but it’s a great starting place regarding moving forward from the mistakes that you’ve made in the past.
Move on from it
This is the toughest part of all. As I said previously, I spent a lot of time giving myself grief over the mistakes that I’ve made. I spent time plotting out how I could’ve done things differently, better, and playing out the potential scenarios in my head. But in fact, that’s all they were. Potential. Reality is right here, and when we can’t improve something, we have to accept things as they are. That might be hard to face, but it’s the way forward. Once you carry what you’ve learned from any given situation with you, it can do nothing but benefit your future. Acceptance can be really tough, I’m struggling with it myself at the moment. But at the end of the day, a situation is what it is. And if it isn’t bringing you joy or anything productive, you have to learn to let it go. For the sake of your own happiness and well-being. Better things are coming, so try not to focus on the tough stuff for too long.
How do you tend to deal with past mistakes?