Stop Beating Yourself Up
Ever make a decision that you know you're going to regret even as you're making it? I made that kind of mistake in 2010. I chose to allow someone back into my life that wasn't good for me and to be honest, good to me. Looking back at that time, I realize that my actions were out of a place of loneliness not as I believed, love for that person.
Often, we allow a mistake or wrong decision to negatively impact our lives long after the incident. I carried immense anger for several years about the above-mentioned relationship and it gave me trust issues among others. I didn't forgive myself for making this mistake and that altered my life. Like many others who carry baggage forward, I wasn't able to actually enjoy the present and it found a way of spoiling new opportunities and experiences.
Dwelling over a mistake for extended periods of time can be very detrimental to your way of life. Our lifetime is limited, and each passing moment cannot be replayed or started over. It is difficult to enjoy the newness offered each day when your mind is constantly troubled by regret and negative self-feedback.
News Flash: You Are Human
We are all human which means we are literally programmed to make mistakes. No one is given an instruction manual at birth detailing the correct way to handle the vast array of decisions and events we experience throughout our lifetimes. Therefore, it makes no sense to go through life with the intent of being absolutely perfect.
Yes, we should strive to make the right decisions and handle situations to the best of our ability. But also realize that we will not always do so. Mistakes should not come as a total surprise but should instead serve as a reminder that you are a fallible human being, just like the billions of other people around you.
Being human is a beautiful thing. We are capable of so many emotions, creations, and discoveries. However, we are far from perfect and mistakes are sure to happen. Always keep that in mind.
Mistakes = Lessons
A great way to avoid beating yourself up over a shortcoming or wrong decision is to not always regard the situation in a negative manner. Instead, try to realize that mistakes are a mandatory part of the learning process. When it seems you keep making the same type of mistake, that means you haven't learned the lesson yet.
Consider this, every single thing you have ever learned how to do with any level of expertise has been achieved through trial and error. This process in no way ends just because you have become an adult. For as long as you live, you will continue to encounter new situations.
That being said, it is silly to think that, as an adult, you will somehow be able to respond to new situations the right way from the start. In fact, if you ever reach a point in your life where you fail to make a mistake here and there, this is probably a bad sign. If nothing you do poses a challenge, this means you are at a place of stagnation.
It is important to consider each mistake a lesson that allows you to adjust your actions. I think it is very appropriate to quote the great poet Maya Angelou here, "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."
We forgive other people after they have messed up. The closer relationship we have with a person makes it easier to forgive them. Ironically, we struggle more to forgive ourselves than we do to forgive others. Who is closer to you than yourself? Considering this paradox, try to change your vantage point the next time you are avoiding granting yourself forgiveness.
Knowing that forgiveness is a mandatory part of maintaining external relationships, you must also realize that this holds true for your relationship with your self. Show yourself kindness and love. Forgive yourself whenever a mistake or bad decision happens.
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