One of the inevitable parts of life is making mistakes. Sometimes we make mistakes unconsciously and other times we do it while knowing it is wrong. Despite this distinction, once you make a mistake, it cannot be undone. We can be mad at ourselves or ignore our wrongdoing, but in the end, this will only make things worse. What you should focus on instead is self-forgiveness.
Once you make a mistake, the easy route is to start blaming it on other things or other people. However, YOU made a mistake, therefore it is YOU who is responsible. If we want to better ourselves, we should not avoid blame, but instead own up to our mistakes.
Quite often when we made a mistake and own up to it, we start drowning ourselves in regret. Why did I do this? Why couldn’t I have just done something else? Why was I so stupid? And the list continues. Although, it is healthy to be upset, you have to realize that you cannot change what happened. Whatever the reason was behind you making this mistake, there is no point in mocking yourself or hating yourself for what you did. You will not get any better from this – it will only worsen the situation.
Instead, learn to forgive yourself. After all, since you are aware that you made a “mistake”, you already acknowledged that this is not who you are or who you want to become. That is a great accomplishment that should not be overlooked!
What you have to start doing is give yourself compliments and state the things that you love about yourself and that you are proud of. What are your best traits? What are your greatest accomplishments? You can even write them down so you do not forget any. Then, start repeating them in your head. Eventually, your confidence will go up again.
After you have forgiven yourself, the process is not finished yet. Now that your confidence and self-love has returned, it is time to make amends. Talk about the situation with the affected people and/or the people that were part of it. What you should say to the affected party differs per situation, however, asking for forgiveness from them could be an example. Of course, in order to do that you have to be sincerely sorry for what you did.
Additionally, if other people were part of the mistake, then it could be quite helpful to talk to them as well. Again, what you should tell them depends on each situation, but an example could be to clarify to them that you are not happy with what happened. Talking about the situation with others will help you to prevent making the same mistake.
Another important step that should not be overlooked is learning. What is this whole process good for if you will just end up making the same mistake again? Therefore, make sure that you analyze the reason why you made the mistake. What was the situation like? What people were involved? If you want to avoid making the same mistake, you have to avoid the pattern that led you to it. Whether it requires behavioral change or changes in your surroundings, it will not be an easy process, but a necessary one!
The bottom line
We are humans and we all make mistakes. This is OK. Do not beat yourself up for it, but instead learn how to forgive yourself. Self-forgiveness ultimately starts and ends with self-love. You are amazing and no matter how big or small the mistake, nothing changes that.