What to do When You Make a Mistake

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Happy Tuesday everyone! For today’s Tips Tuesday, I am linking an image that I saw uploaded on imgur. Very much like yesterday’s mantra about forgiveness, here is an excellent series of steps that can be taken to unanchor yourself from the past particularly if you’ve made a mistake. Here are my thoughts to thus wonderful list of tips.

1. It’s important to recognize what happened and allow yourself to feel what you feel. Suppressing emotions often do results in a larger issue down the road. Letting yourself feel, acknowledge the feeling by recognizing it, and letting it flow through you for a few minutes is a good way to let the emotion out so you don’t have to deal with it later.

2. Now that you’ve felt the emotion, take a step back and see if there is anything you can do. Sometimes, a mistake can be easily corrected (that’s what erasers and the backspace button are for!). Explore your options to undo what mistake was made. Of course, sometimes this may not be possible. It’s important to recognize this as a possibility as well. Where nothing can be done about it, then ask yourself what you can do in the future to prevent that mistake from happening. All mistakes can be a learning exercise, or can help you in the future even if it can’t help you in the here and now. If neither of these possibilities are available, then move on to step 3.

3. Take a deep breath. Take several deep breaths if you need to. This not only sends some much needed oxygen to your brain, but also helps clear your mind. With each exhale, imagine the problem leaving for the time being, the mistake and the baggage it may carry departing, leaving you lighter, and more able to accept any lessons or opportunities for correction if available.

4. Forgive yourself. See yesterday’s entry. Remember that mistakes do happen. To err is to be human and no matter how hard we try, we will all inevitably make mistakes. But how we choose to react to those mistakes, how long we dwell on them, how we correct them, how we learn from them, will set the tone for the mistake itself.

And so there you have it! Remember these 4 steps the next time a mistake happens. You’ll see how mistakes aren’t an enemy, but can in fact be valuable teachers, guiding us through life.


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