Sometimes, you’re going to mess up.
Despite best efforts and personal strategies, even the best of us find situations where our weaknesses play out - and we goof. Mentally, it’s hard to come to a place where you realize that despite best efforts, training, reading, meditation, praying, accountability partners or whatever keeps you on course, you may blunder. You may stumble, fail and fall. Sometimes, hard.
In retrospect, you realize all the things you should have said differently, how you could have acted better, how you could have been more controlled, how you could have foreseen the unwanted outcome, how you could have made the right choices. But, as they say, hindsight is 20/20.
To get to the point, you’re going to have to move on.
I’m still on that journey but coming to terms with the fact that while we have areas of great strength, then there are areas of great weaknesses - and some take almost a lifetime to master. And when those weaknesses play out and you feel stupid, your feelings are justifiable. However, dwelling on those feelings is not. And yes, it is hard NOT to cringe every time the scenario plays out in your head and you see what you should have done and did not do, again and again. And again…
I’ve been in this situation several times and here are my thoughts about what may help:
Talk to someone:
If I messed up and hurt someone, I try to talk to them. If I can’t talk to them, I talk to someone I can trust. Talking can be like an ablution for the soul. It puts undefined feelings into words and even if the person doesn’t have the answers, you’ll get the relief needed to move on.
Acknowledge the mistake and forgive yourself:
Look in the mirror and acknowledge you messed up. It also helps to think about WHY you messed up. And then, forgive yourself. You’re human. No matter the repercussions, they are harder to bear if you pile on your added guilt and shame. Move on.
Plan for next time:
I think about what I would like to do the next time the scenario presents itself. For some of us, that process can bring back feeling stupid, guilty or unhappy - but with time, it becomes easier to dissociate the learnings for the future from the feelings of the past.
Focus on the big picture:
It’s easy to get distracted by emotions, like social media can distract from work. But I find it helps to continue working on the things in my life that really matter, the big “WHY’s”. In the end, people forget, the world moves on but making a real impact in the real world lasts for a much longer time. So go back to working on your business, book, music, career and build what really matters.
Summary, when you fall, when you fail, just put one foot in front of the other - and keep on moving...
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