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.