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!

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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.

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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.