So many of us rake ourselves over the coals after a personal or professional failure or when something goes wrong, and I just wanted to remind you to please be kinder to yourself because I know how hard it can be to move on and forgive yourself after a slipup.
Remember that we are all human and therefore we all make mistakes and no matter what Ivy league school you went to, you will very likely screw something up.
And since most of us are type A personalities, we can tend to beat ourselves up when we make these slipups. But dwelling on your mistakes isn’t very productive and can actually be harmful. Ruminating about what you failed at is only going to make you feel worse – it almost seems like a form of self-punishment, which is just unhealthy behavior. Instead, reflecting on your mistakes with the purpose of making real, positive changes in your life is much more healthy and worth your time.
When you make a mistake, ask yourself some tough questions, which are designed to help you grow:
- What went wrong in this situation?
- What could I do better next time?
- What did I learn from this experience?
By writing down your responses, you can often see the situation and your part in it, more clearly. Analyzing it can help you work through it and not repeat the same mistakes again. Spend your time making a plan for how to avoid making a similar mistake in the future.
The most important takeaway is to not beat yourself up for things that already happened. You can’t change the past (no matter how much you may want to). What’s done is done. Don’t hold onto a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it. Let it go. What you can do is to learn from each experience, make them teaching moments, move forward and do better in the future. And please just always be kind to yourself. For more on kindness, read my recent article on how to incorporate kindness into your everyday.