I’m going to start today’s article a little differently. I’m going to let you into a time not that long ago when I was lying in my bed depressed and devastated by the mistakes I had previously made. There was a rawness in me that I’d never felt before and in truth I never want to feel again. I hurt someone I really cared about and lost them out of my life, by my bad decisions, my errors, my mistakes which had cost me, big time! It was a time not only for mourning but for resurrection. This is where the journey of self realisation begins….
You see, it’s normal in life to make mistakes, but often some are so life-changing it it effects every part of your life, and it quite literally takes over your very psyche and well-being. As you are consumed by the error, which has now become your reality.
In truth the answer is related to trauma and attachment injuries, however that doesn’t numb the pain any less. This article will be exploring why we shouldn’t punish ourselves on previous mistakes. I make this statement on the basis of you learning from your mistakes and growing, not from the basis of ”ah well I made mistake, it’s fine, I don’t care about the consequences”. No! that’s not OK, especially if you damaged or hurt other people in the process. As I keep emphasising with my articles on this website as well as on my YouTube channel, self awareness is the key to growth. Without it you are severely handicapping your success, I’d even go as far as to say you will be unable to register your results as there will be a disconnect between the process, outcome and reflection.
It is very cliche, however firstly I want you to know that everyone makes mistakes! It is the essence of being human, nobody is perfect and that’s OK. It’s owning your mistakes that count and ensuring that history doesn’t repeat itself. You can’t control the externalities, however you can’t control yourself and your own actions and that’s all you can do. However you’d be amazed at the power you have within yourself!
As a crux of Jordan Peterson’s work, the key is to take responsibility for your own life and not to blame others or circumstances for your mistakes, all your fuck ups and misfortunes. And ensure that you grow from the situation and become an improved version of yourself. I love using examples of sport in my work because so often athletes are molded through the environment and the conditions they are faced with. And this is no different.
If something you’ve done is weighing you down, perhaps to a lesser extent then the one I previously described in this article then you need to simply act on the fact, state to yourself that you will not allow yourself to fall into that trap again and move on. Now by move on I mean growing everyday learning from the past mistakes and using rationality and logic in in your daily life. This can be done by seeking out resources that will allow you to grow in whatever area of your life you previously made a mistake in. Also by gaining knowledge and skills and even being around other people, this can often allow you to open up and meet other like-minded individuals you can share your thoughts and be vulnerable with, if appropriate.
I’ve previously written an article on forgiveness available here. These concepts aren’t mutually exclusive as forgiveness and owning your mistakes are linked however you have to forgive yourself for anything you did, and on the basis of whatever happened because if you don’t you will hate yourself, potentially for the rest of your life. But I know from personal experience this is extremely difficult to do depending on the situation. Some things can be instant to get over and be OK with and others can take a lifetime if not dealt with appropriately.
In cases where you hurt someone I strongly recommend apologising in this case and being genuinely sincere about what was done. It is often best to give yourself a little bit of space so you can reflect on the situation and assess. It also shows the other person that you are considering the consequences of own actions, going back to my point on self awareness. This can be endearing, and it’s also honest. And that’s all you can be, you can’t control other people’s opinions of you but you can be in control of the situation by making your claim. You then say you would like the situation resolved and give the person space by walking away, this is respectful of the other person especially in a moment of crisis where their opinion of you will not be particularly high. They may also not want anything to do with you ever again and you have to respect that.
The advice here is not to control someone and manipulate them into forgiving you or accepting your mistake. The advice is for you to own your mistake after you’ve done what you can to show remorse for your actions. And that’s really it. By doing more than that or even being remorseless, it shows but you don’t consider it the other person’s feelings by being either too invested, needy or by even not caring. But if you do the right things usually someone will see that you are an emotionally intelligent being, which is a highly desirable trait amongst humans. And if they don’t then as I said you can’t control that. But in those case, it’s likely that they are lacking maturity to see past the issue that is blocking their vision or they may need need more time for emotions to settle.
Please be aware that every situation is unique, but if you do need help with getting yourself back together after a life mistake, then please don’t hesitate to reach out to me as I am a specialist in helping people overcome worries and anxiety that they may be experiencing, and help individuals transform from a mistake that has bogged them down in life.
I’ve also addressed this topic on video which covers some others areas than discussed here in this article. Please check it out below:
TAGS: Fucking Up; It’s OK To Make Mistakes