We waste a lot of time and energy – first in trying not to make mistakes, then in trying to hide the mistakes we make, and finally in feeling guilty about these mistakes, either beating ourselves up or allowing someone else to do so. All this energy is completely wasted. One cannot live this life without making mistakes. It’s simply not possible. One also cannot hide mistakes indefinitely. It’s possible to get away once in a while, but sooner or later, one would be caught. Feeling guilty about a mistake does absolutely nothing but prevent one from actually fixing anything. Continually wallowing in such guilt paralyzes any actions to move forward. A person in such a condition is not able to be productive or solve problems.
We are all human. We all make mistakes. Some of us make lots of mistakes. Some of us make the same mistakes over and over and over. Some of our mistakes can have long-lasting, possibly permanent, consequences. Some of the consequences of our mistakes affect many people, not just ourselves. We need to simply accept those as the facts. Accept that you will make mistakes. That’s just the way it is.
When you see that you have made a mistake, just admit it. Admit it to yourself and to as many other people as were involved. Apologize to anyone you may have hurt, including yourself. Forgive yourself both for having made the mistake and for the consequences it brought you. Make a plan to try not to repeat that mistake in the future. Pause and reflect on what you learned through the experience. Open your mind to the possibility that your mistake may actually have benefited you in unexpected ways. Accept that you may end up getting opportunities that you never had.
“Do not wallow in your mistakes. Do not grovel and prostrate yourself in hopes of forgiveness. We all make mistakes. Apologize and move forward. Do not replay the event in your head. Do not continue to beat yourself up. Do not profusely explain, defend yourself, make excuses or blame. After you apologize, do no more explaining; never explain more than once — ever. When you keep explaining and rehashing you just keep your mistake alive. Learn your lesson and adjust your behavior and move forward. Let people see you overcoming your mistakes with integrity. Most mistakes that seem huge in the heat of the moment are quickly forgotten. We often even further bond with others through surviving our mistakes together. Big mistakes are an outstanding opportunity to showcase your ability to recover and have grace under pressure. The bigger the mistake, the bigger the opportunity. This is how you turn it all around.” ~ Bryant McGill