“A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying… that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.” – Alexander Pope
It’s never easy to admit you’ve made a mistake, but it’s an integral part of learning, growing and improving yourself. When it comes to day to day life, obstacles are inevitable. I’ve spoken a lot about the power of mistakes on my blog, but I’ve never really delved into how to determine what drives your reactions in these types of situations and how to use that to reveal what the learning lesson is for you.
I’m going to break it down to you in three simple steps that you can apply to any situation/pattern that you feel you’re repeating.
1) Admit first of all that you’ve made a mistake. Own your current position.
One of the easiest things that people tend to do when having made a mistake is to pass the blame. We’re taught from a young age that making a mistake is something to be ashamed and embarrassed about. Therefore the first and most important step to uncovering the lesson, is to admit and take responsibility for your mistake. Only then are you able to open yourself up to the many possibilities for growth. The admission of having made a mistake, even if only done privately to yourself, takes the focus away from placing blame on others to seeking understanding.
2) If it’s a repeated pattern, ask yourself ‘What do I still need to learn that I didn’t grasp last time?’
In these types of situations, especially if repeated, there tends to be an overriding emotion or core value attached to the outcome of the event. For example, for most people mistakes and obstacles arise when we don’t believe in ourselves, we feel we don’t deserve good things, that we’re unlovable, not good enough etc. Identify what this emotion/feeling/belief is for you by asking yourself, ‘Why does this mistake make me feel this way?‘.
It’s also important to take note of your inner dialogue right now, as I can imagine it’s one that’s fairly negative and self-deprecating. These thoughts again will be attached to the emotion I asked you to identify above. For example if you believe you’re not good enough (as a subconscious core value) then you’ll be having thoughts like ‘I’m useless, this was bound to happen’ ‘You’re an embarrassment, how could you make such a foolish mistake. It was only a matter of time before your cover was blown and people saw you for who you really are‘.
I know it may be a difficult and uncomfortable process, but it is so worth it. Because now you’ve given yourself the opportunity to deal face to face with underlying negative thoughts that are steering your life. This is where you can learn to accept and love these parts of yourself that seem to be holding you back, and work on ways that encourage you to feel better about yourself and your many incredible capabilities.
3) Congratulate yourself for putting yourself in a position where you can make mistakes.
Finally, you need to give yourself a pat on the back for even putting yourself in a position where you could potentially make a mistake. It means you’re growing, expanding your knowledge and really putting yourself out there. That alone takes courage, perseverance and a drive to succeed in all areas of life.
I challenge you to look at so called ‘obstacles and mistakes’ as something that’s incredibly positive and up-lifting. It’s in moments like this where the universe provides you with little gems of information to help elevate you to your next step in life. Without mistakes, you’d never actualise your full potential in life.