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Monday, November 3, 2014

Three ways to Fix a Mistake.






I made a mistake.  I am not talking mistake like a sin kind of mistake...like I accidentally slept with my husband's best friend.  Or I mistakenly robbed a bank..I made a mistake. And even though everything turned out fine I could not get past what almost happened.  The pain I felt was tangible, I turned it over and over in my head until I was sick with what "almost happened".  I couldn't make a logical move and I lost confidence in myself.  But then after a good deal of castigation, I heard a voice as clear as can be say. "forgive yourself, forget it, move on...I have already paid the price for this."  It was a voice I inherently trusted and the awful feeling I had went away.  It was a relief of epic proportions to not have that awful feeling.  But as an added gift this experience also taught a pattern to follow for future mistakes.  Sometimes our mistakes are simple and easily fixed, sometimes not.  But this pattern works for all of them and is easy, real, and true.

1.) Forgive yourself.  You must accept that everyone makes mistakes, we were never built to be perfect.  We get fatigued, or ill, or just confused and we make mistakes.  Realize that and stop blaming yourself.  You would forgive someone else so offer that same gift to yourself.  Accept imperfection in yourself and enjoy the wonderful feeling of forgiveness.  


2.) Forget about it.  Easier said than done?  Well, lets really get to it.  You won't forget it because you think you deserve to feel badly, like some weird penance.  That is a false belief.  Making mistakes is part of this mortal journey, but you don't have to list it on your resume. Remember what caused the mistake, note it, and then forget you screwed the pooch.  

3.) Move on.  I use visulization of myself actually moving on....try it.  To back this up there are quite a few old adages about "getting back on the horse".   So I do.  Get back on the horse that is.


If you have messed up at work, go right back to it with renewed vigor and be great at what you do.  Messed up with a relationship?  Made a subtraction mistake on a tax return?  Honestly deal with it, be straight forward and honest.  Accept responsibility for what occurred and move on.  Another adage?  The truth will set you free...it really will.  I tell the truth and I can look people in the eye, sleep well at night and expect good things to happen.  Good guys do not finish last.

These three steps will help you with processing a mistake without overreacting and wasting time.  It does take practice, but it will work.  I promise.

32 comments:

  1. Oh, I get all tied up in knots when I mess something up. Thanks for walking me through the process of dealing with it. Yes, we all make mistakes.

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    1. Fear is the father of all kinds of negative things...in fact every negative thing. I fight it every day.

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  2. This is excellent advice and should be tattooed on our forearms so we can refer to it often. ;-)

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    1. I know, it is so hard to move on...and what control over things do we have? Very little...but I am so hard on myself....so needlessly hard

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  3. You are absolutely right, especially about it not being easy to forget it. But we are all works is progress. Great advice!

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    1. That is the part I really like, the work in progress part...I have to remember that. I am not perfect, I am not perfect, I am not perfect

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  4. Glad you are my forgiving friend...

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  5. Life is all about making mistakes and learning from them. Once we stop striving to be perfect....we can be more joyful! Great tips!

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    1. That is so true, the key to being joyful is letting everything go.... letting go and letting God...

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  6. Ha! What Carol said. Yes...great advice. My favorite is forgive yourself.

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    1. We all want to forgive ourselves, we just aren't very good at it. I am striving to be better

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  7. One of the things I am proudest of about my son is that, although he makes few mistakes, he has always been able to learn from the ones he does make. I sure hope he gets that from me. :)

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    1. I am sure he did!! Learning from mistakes is the best education there is..

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  8. I think that if you take responsibility FIRST when you make a mistake it is far easier to move on from it. At least that's been my experience :)

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    1. I know.....recognize what happened, you are so right.

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  9. Yesterday I watched Elizabeth Gilbert's Oprah interview and she spoke about using your failures as your most powerful tool for learning and growth. As someone who makes plenty of mistakes, I try to make them factual, and not emotional. As in "this is the fact, this is what happened, and what didn't happen" vs "oh my gosh, I am a loser, because I did this and what if this happened."

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    1. I went to the default emotion of "I'm a loser" I have been learning to replace that with much softer words. It hasn't been easy, but I am improving

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  10. Yep, this is exactly right! We all make mistakes and we have to forgive, try to forget and move on. I'm convinced that's why that song from Frozen -- Let It Go -- is such a huge hit!

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    1. I know you are right....people practically scream that part of the song!! Let it go...please!

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  11. Yes - being able to accept that we make mistakes, recognize then, own up to them but then be able to let it go is a critical element of self acceptance.

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    1. I am trying so hard to accept myself, this has been a difficult self journey. But I am hopeful I will be happy with the improvements I can make

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  12. We all do it... forgive yourself and move on. Boy it takes us a long time to learn this sometimes!

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    1. I don't think I would have paid any attention if the lesson hadn't come as hard as it did. The voice was so clear, the relief so instantaneous. I finally had to pay attention

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  13. Great advice. And I love the idea of accidentally robbing a bank.

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    1. Don't think I haven't thought about it....

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  14. Such important advice. This is one of those cases where I wish we were handed an instruction manual in advance so we don't have to learn the hard way. Might be nice to get one of those for raising kids and grief too.

    Great perspective. Thank you!

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    1. for sure!! but unfortunately I don't seem to listen unless its the hard way

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  15. Mistakes are tough for me but having the eyes of my girls on me has forced me to develop skills to let it go. However, letting go and moving on are two different things. I will be using the visualization technique you shared.

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  16. As much as I vocalize about the things I don't like about aging, thankfully there are things that make it worthwhile. The older I get, the easier I go on my mistakes. Not to say I don't start the same old negative self talk, but I now recognize it and hopefully snap to a healthier perspective. Sometimes I do make some pretty big ones. But hopefully not the same ones. So agree with your words.

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  17. Great post. I used to dwell on mistakes, playing the "what if" game. But know I try to move on. We can't change the past, only learn from it.

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  18. I agree. There's really not much you can do to turn back time anyways so just move forward in a positive way is what I would say.

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