For many people, making mistakes feels comfortable. They can justify the beliefs they have about themselves; Of course I failed! I’m a failure. Another mistake? What else is new? Nothing good happens to me. Doesn’t shock me that I made a mistake! I expected it…
This keeps us in a safe place. The mistake or failure confirms the negative beliefs we have about ourselves.
We need to break this cycle of how we look at mistakes immediately. We need to trust in our mistakes and see them as stepping stones. Mistakes become opportunities when we can look at them as open doors toward the right path in life.
Mistakes can keep the fear of success at arm’s length – every time we fail, we feel a sense of safety. We won’t have to worry about such things as: What if I did succeed? Then what? Or how would I handle success?
We also tend to use mistakes and failures as a defense mechanism. We believe that if we stay the same then nothing changes and I know how to handle myself this way. It’s more familiar and comfortable.
Take some time to pick out your biggest mistakes or failures and choose to see them in a different perspective. It is a choice how you see each mistake or failure.
Think about each mistake or failure as a learning project. Go through them and ask yourself:
What can I learn from this mistake or failure?
What can I change so that it won’t happen again?
How can I cope with the situation?
Did I take responsibility for my part?
Do I forgive myself?
Think about how you talk to yourself. Do you say things such as: I’m such a failure/loser? Or do you tell yourself that it’s OK to make mistakes because it’s a part of life?
How do you interpret your mistakes?
How we see our mistakes and failures is important in how we handle them and cope with the consequences of our mistakes. So, do you see your mistake as a chance to learn, grow and do something even better or do you see it as a justification for your stupid self (or whatever word you use to criticize yourself)?
The aftermath of the mistake or failure is a great time to ask yourself: Did I survive? Did I grow stronger from it? Did I make better choices due to the mistake? Am I a better person?
How we perceive our mistakes and failures makes all the difference in how resilient we are. It’s impossible not to make mistakes. We will all make numerous mistakes in our lives.
How you choose to view it will make all the difference and how you treat yourself during and after a failure is a true testament to how you feel about yourself on the inside.
Be good to yourself.
About the Author: Diane Lang is a Therapist, Educator and Positive Living Expert. She has dedicated her career to helping people turn their lives around and is now on a mission to help them develop a sustainable positive attitude that can actually turn one into an optimist, literally.
Through her two books, “Creating Balance & Finding Happiness” and “Baby Steps: The Path from Motherhood to Career.” Diane has been speaking and empowering parents and adults nationwide. She is also an Adjunct Professor in Psychology at Montclair State University, located in NJ, where her college work includes mentoring students for personal issue advisement.
As an expert in her fields of therapy, Lang has been featured in the Daily Record, Family Circle, Family Magazine, Working Mother Magazine and Cookie Magazine, seen on NJ 12 TV, Good day CT, Style CT, The Veira Network, CBS TV and “Fox & Friends”. She has also participated in a reality based Internet show, ourprisoner.com, hosted Generation X-tinet. In addition Lang writes a blog for Pazoo.com.