Stop Blaming Yourself For Past Mistakes

Stop Blaming Yourself for Past Mistakes

At times we can be so critical of ourselves and the things we’ve done in the past. The feeling of failure is like a heavy, smothering blanket of sorrow and regret. And instead of just “letting it go”, like so many people passively suggest, to get through it, feels like an impossible feat.

We wallow in yesterday’s mistakes and wonder how it’s so easy for others to just move on like nothing ever happened.

First of all, it’s not easy. Not for all of us. Some of us feel things on a different level and allow these emotions to control the days to come. Until we say enough is enough and learn how to effectively get from defeat to perseverance.

Below are a few helpful strategies to do just that!

You Are Not Your Mistakes

A single mistake, or even a series of mistakes, absolutely does not define who you are on the inside. The truth is, you are a collection of everything good and bad that has happened in your life, whether you had a hand in it or not.

The person you are right now has been conditioned by cultural surroundings, how you raised and the events that have transpired from birth to this very moment in time. Your mistakes in the past do not own you and do not deserve the power to control you.

So far, you’re batting a thousand. You’ve survived every single day of your life to this point. Mistakes do not define you. How you handle mistakes plays a bigger part than the mistake itself.

The Learning Curve of Life

We are but a work in progress. Today isn’t the end, and tomorrow probably won’t be either. The best thing we can do for ourselves and our mental health is to celebrate the wins and make room for the losses.

Treat life as a learning curve and give yourself a break. If perfection was even possible, how would one even achieve it without experience? There has to be downs to appreciate the ups, right?

Own It

We can’t just bury our heads in the sand and pretend a mistake didn’t happen. That’s not beneficial for anyone involved in the situation. And as hard as it may be, it’s better to own the mistake and use it as a tool rather than dwell on it or attempt to cover it up.

At work, go ahead and tell the boss man about the error and even ask for input on how to avoid this situation in the future. If there’s damage control to be done, take care of it and face the music. You’ll retain the respect of your boss and likely be admired by coworkers.

The same rule applies to intimate, family and parenting relationships. Accept responsibility and try to move forward as graciously as possible. Thankfully, the people closest to us don’t usually expect perfection and would gladly take sincerity and honesty over deception any day of the week.

Give Yourself the Gift of Forgiveness

To be human is to err. And you’ve undoubtedly been in a situation where someone asked for your forgiveness. Do yourself the biggest favor of all and forgive yourself. Sometimes we fall into the trap of holding ourselves to a higher standard than those around us, and that’s not fair.

It’s perfectly normal to strive for excellence, but perfection is a terrible misconception. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Learn from the experience and keep pushing to avoid making that same mistake again. Be your biggest ally, not your worst enemy.

Be Better Than Yesterday

Never stop investing in yourself. Sometimes we end up in a stagnant state or a standoff with ourselves. After a mistake we have an inner war going on with the person we despise and the person we want to be, the person we know we can be.

Don’t allow this negative thought process to put you in a stale-mate. Find ways to get better. To do better. Never stop learning and striving to attain your goals. Mistakes are going to happen. Failures are inevitable. But perseverance and positivity are much more powerful tools than tucking your tail and running for the hills.

Everybody makes mistakes. It’s part of life. When we learn to pick up the pieces and make something meaningful, something we are proud of, is when we have reached the ultimate level of personal development.

A level that cannot easily be shaken. A level that reframes what once was deemed a critical mistake into a minor setback. It’s all up to you. You and only you determine how much power you allow the past to have in your life and in your future!

Determine Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Being self-aware is one of the main keys for success and it affects every single aspect of our lives. Probably the first thing that comes to mind is how our strengths and weaknesses play a part in our professional or work lives. It simply can’t be limited to this single area.

Being self-aware is one of the main keys for success and it affects every single aspect of our lives. Probably the first thing that comes to mind is how our strengths and weaknesses play a part in our professional or work lives. It simply can’t be limited to this single area.

Knowing what you are very good at and realizing where you may fall short is critical in relationships, family life, parenting and even in the social arena. For some, it’s easy to point out the good and for others, focusing on the flaws is almost a reflex.

How Do We Rate?

We are conditioned to compare ourselves to our surroundings or fellow human beings in similar circumstances. Not just to see if we measure up, but also as a standard that we are nailing life or failing at life.

As children, we are pushed to do better. We are rewarded for winning; there are no rewards for failing, only consequences. We carry this mindset into adulthood and continue believing if we aren’t the best, we at least be better than the rest.

And for many of us, this way of living is exhausting and impossible to keep up with for the long-haul. It’s time we stop the madness and focus on how to make our strengths and weakness work for us, instead of against us. Yes, that’s right. Our weaknesses can work for us.

Know Your Strengths

Your strengths have a great deal to do with your confidence. Remember, we are talking about all aspects of life here, not just vocationally. If you are a structured person who thrives on rules and order, you’re probably also great at organizing parties and social gatherings.

It’s probably a cake walk for you to follow through with the many scheduled events involved in parenting, like doctor’s appointments and parent-teacher conferences.

Strengths aren’t things we are good at, but also things we enjoy. Perhaps you have the ability to look at a quilt and then recreate the pattern in your head without much of a fuss. That’s basically like rocket science to a non-crafty person who needs a defined pattern with step-by-step instructions.

Know Your Weaknesses

We all have them. And that’s okay. Similar to our strengths, our weaknesses also have a great deal to do with self-confidence. What’s more, weaknesses are nothing to be ashamed of. Here’s why it’s important to be aware of them: So you know when to say “no”.

The most creative person you know might be horrible at math. It would behoove that person to pass on requests requiring in-depth mathematical skills. Don’t volunteer to bake cakes for a luncheon if you stink at baking and refrain from babysitting if you don’t really like kids.

Completely avoiding our weaknesses though isn’t always the best answer, as there’s no room for personal growth and development. However, taking on an entire project based on a known weakness probably isn’t the best way to expand horizons.

Why They are Both Important

Your strengths move you closer to your goals. Your strengths create better bonds with people and help develop more meaningful relationships. Your strengths can put you on the fast-track to career advancement. Being familiar with all the things are you good at is a plus, and it helps make better decisions and creates more opportunity for successes.

Knowing your weaknesses though, is equally, if not more important. When you are real with yourself on areas you aren’t very strong in, you’re more likely to find workaround ways to get achieve your goals.

In college, passing a speech class is sometimes necessary to fulfill degree requirements. For many of us, giving speeches isn’t exactly a piece of cake. In fact, it’s down right terrifying to a great deal of people. Accepting this as a weakness allows us the ability to be a little more creative.

Perhaps using a visual aid is the key. Giving a handout to the audience is a great way to take the focus off the speaker and direct attention to a piece of paper. When a weakness rears it’s ugly head, find another route before completely giving up.

Everyone has both good and not so good attributes. And believe it or not, both can be advantageous. We have to acknowledge both sides though and allow both sides to work for us.

This happens when we stop looking at weaknesses as something that needs to be fixed and instead challenge ourselves to find alternatives using our strengths.

How To Learn To Accept Yourself

It’s time to take a good look in the mirror and get comfortable with ourselves, flaws and all. It’s high time we turn weaknesses into strengths and go full steam ahead with our goals and dreams.

Everybody has Flaws. There is not a single person on this planet that is flawless, no matter how much they think otherwise. The key with flaws is owning them, accepting them and using them to our advantage. But how? Especially when we are our own worst critics. Furthermore, we are conditioned to believe everyone else is looking at our flaws with a magnifying glass.

We should embrace the blemishes and imperfections and find ways to put them to work. Think it’s impossible? It wasn’t impossible for Sylvester Stallone to achieve an incredibly long and lucrative acting career when he was told he would never make it because of his slurred speech.

Nor wasn’t impossible for Arnold Schwartzenegger when he was told his accent was too thick. Albert Einstein was a flunky, Charles Darwin wasn’t smart enough, Marilyn Monroe was too heavy, Michael Jordan didn’t have enough talent; the list goes on.

So why are we still wasting time persecuting ourselves for things we deem inadequate instead of celebrating our differences?

It’s time to take a good look in the mirror and get comfortable with ourselves, flaws and all. It’s high time we turn weaknesses into strengths and go full steam ahead with our goals and dreams.

And here’s how you can get it done:

Subjective Identification

The first step in any process is to directly identify the problem. Or what we deem as the problem, flaw, blemish, or weakness. Get up close and personal with yourself. What is really bothering you about yourself?

Is it a part of your character or a physical nature? Exactly what about this part of you is bothersome? Does it make you feel self-conscious, less beautiful, more noticeable, ashamed, embarrassed? Define it with a feeling, an emotion. Be truthful with yourself about it. It’s okay to be vulnerable; this is just you and yourself, having a heart to heart.

Objective Analysis

Now look at the flaw from an objective point of view. Taking a different vantage point often lightens the load a bit. It’s not as enormous as it felt before because we are looking from the outside in instead of from an emotional standpoint.

If you were an alien looking down at yourself, would you consider this as a flaw or a distinct identifier? An obscene wart or a notable peculiarity? Something atrocious or something that makes you stand out from the crowd?

Does this thing or emotion or characteristic stop you from being you or enhance who you are and who you want to be? It is limiting you in any form or fashion? And if it is, what can you do about it?

More importantly, are you willing to do anything about it? Be real with yourself. You’ve got to be brutally honest and decide who really has the power; you or what you consider the anomaly.

Reframe & Reassign

Everybody has quirks. There is something “different” about every human on this planet. We aren’t Stepford Wives with robotic, predictable programming. What a bland world it would be! Instead, we all have a distinct set of characteristics with boundless capabilities!

When you’ve successfully subjectively identified and objectively analyzed whatever is irking you, it’s time to reframe it and figure out how this singular thing can be utilized in a positive manner.

This is obviously causing distress, so the most advantageous way of flipping it around is by making it useful. Remove the negative power and replace it with positive.

Embrace Your Power

You have the power to change more than just your own perception of this imperfection. It doesn’t mean you have to be a national spokesperson for folks with stretchmarks or a world-renowned advocate for mental health challenges, but you can!

And if that’s a bigger bite than you’d like to take, just know that your stand on differences and uniqueness can be just what the next person fighting the same battle needs to stand on their own. Admiring the beauty of differences in others goes a long way.

Be the change, not the adverse effect. Point out the positive and watch the cycle ripple. Positivity is contagious, but so is negativity; so be careful which light you shine, on yourself and others.

Being flawless is an impossible feat and a complete waste of time and energy. Those resources would be much better spent on learning how to love yourself and truly accept how incredible you are!

And what an influential part you play in how others’ may perceive their own imperfections. Sometimes it’s hard to be the voice, but you don’t have to be loud to be heard. And you certainly don’t have to be perfect to love yourself!

How To Build Social Confidence

Building social confidence is a process, but it’s possible and probably easier than you think!

If you’ve ever been in the presence of someone truly confident, it’s almost as if self-assurance is oozing from their pores and they remain unshaken no matter the circumstances.

Apprehension and intimidation don’t seem to even register on the socially confident person’s radar. They just are. And others flock around them in awe of their calm, cool and collected composure while at the center of attention.

And those who lack social confidence are typically standing back, away from the crowd, afraid they won’t fit in or be accepted should they attempt to be part of the “cool kids crowd”. It can be terrifying to a shy individual even contemplating interaction with those exuding social confidence with such ease.

There are so many hypothetical “what if’s” coupled with self-deprecating internal dialogue, it turns into just as much of a physical challenge as it is mental. It doesn’t have to be that way! Building social confidence is a process, but it’s possible and probably easier than you think!

Take a look at the following 5 steps to build social confidence.

Be a Better Version of You

This is what it’s all about; living the best possible life. If you are dissatisfied with something in your life, take action. Don’t just sit there and do nothing. In accepting the way things are, things you know you can change, you are basically telling yourself you aren’t worth putting in the effort to change and be better. And you are worth it!

Stop Comparing

Knock off the incessant comparisons to others. There will always be someone you feel is better than you in one way or another. Mary might have a wardrobe to die for, and Steve might be the most handsome person you’ve ever met.
So what! When you hold yourself to the standards of others’, you will never be truly happy in your own skin. You have to love you before anyone else will. That’s a huge factor in social confidence.

In fact, the performance or outer appearance of others shouldn’t even be used as a gauge. Keep striving to reach your goals until you are satisfied with the results. If you want a better wardrobe, work on it.

And don’t use money, or the lack thereof, as an excuse. There are entirely too many resources available now to purchase high-end items without breaking the bank.

Speaking of Excuses…

Excuses are shackles with which we bound ourselves. Excuses are unrealized fears. Think about something you’ve recently made an excuse not to do, buy or even make a goal.
For instance, if there’s a pair of shoes you’d love to have but made the excuse not to buy as the budget doesn’t allow it – did you shut the idea down immediately and “restrict” yourself from the shoes? You will never have the shoes because you didn’t even give it another thought.

Here’s the deal: If you really want something, you’ll make a way to make it happen. Find what’s going to make you happy from the inside out and do it. Don’t make excuses and set up limitations on your happiness. Happy people are confident people!

Ditch the Filters

We filter our photos, conversations, actions… basically everything. Pull back on the filtering a little bit and take a chance on being vulnerable. Let someone know what you are truly thinking or how you are really feeling.

Don’t turn the selfie you just took into a grayscale enhancement because you’re afraid the world will see a wrinkle or the bags under your eyes.
Let people see the real you, underneath all the filters. The person they want to get to know and spend time with. The socially confident person is vulnerable. It sounds insanely opposite, but it’s the truth.

They are confident enough to know that they aren’t everyone’s type, and everyone isn’t going to instantly befriend them. They are strong enough to shine through the chaos and negativity and surround themselves with the true gems they did find that like them for who they are, blemishes and all.

Exposure is Therapy

A common practice for therapists treating people with phobias is called exposure therapy. They are urged to take baby steps and go a little further each time with their phobias until it feels okay. Until it feels safe.

Exposure is extremely hard for some of us because we waste too much time being concerned with what other’s think of us. The more you test the waters, the easier it gets, thus the more confident you become.

See! Those steps aren’t that hard, right? It takes some effort, follow through and determination, but mostly it requires you being confident in yourself, not in what you think is the perception of others. Building social confidence starts on the inside and works its way out.