Have you been having trouble letting go of your past mistakes? Do you find yourself always thinking of all the times you have screwed up, even after a long time has passed since it happened? Then read this post today to find out why you need to stop right away, and how to stop regretting past mistakes
How To Stop Regretting Past Mistakes?
When I am getting ready for bed, I like to do things a certain way. I begin my nightly routine by using the toilet. Then, I like to brush my teeth and cleanse my face. Coming out of the bathroom, I remember to put on a light moisturizer to prevent my skin from drying out.
Once that’s done, I set my alarm for tomorrow morning, and browse through my newsfeed on Facebook for about 10 minutes every night. And after that, I fall in a deep slumber that lasts until my morning alarm jolts me awake.
Just kidding! Though this is undoubtedly how I wish my bedtime routine went, it sadly is far from this. Truth be told, I hardly ever remember to moisturize before bed, and I often skip over washing my face with a cleanser too. But there is one thing that I rarely skip out on at night.
Yep, you guessed it. It’s thinking back to every tiny mistake that I have ever made in my life and regret it.
Why is regret a poison?
Recently, I have been thinking about why I always put myself in such a bad mood by doing this each night. After all, it isn’t just a minor inconvenience that I can look past. It has been affecting my life in more ways than I can count on my fingers! Need convincing? Well, here we go.
Let’s start at the very beginning. Always thinking negative thoughts will put you in a negative mood. Every chance that life gives you to be happy will be clouded over by these mistakes; you cannot seem to get over. This eventually transitions into self-hate and putting yourself down on every occasion. And as a result, it will begin to affect your productivity and your motivation to do new things.
This is why I consider regret to be something that poisons you from within. It shatters your self confidence and makes you feel worthless. It rejects love – both, from yourself and other people – and isolates you in a dark place.
How can you get over your mistakes?
But even after knowing all the different ways your regret is bringing you down, you cannot simply turn a switch off to let it go. So, how can you really get over the mistakes you have made? How can you look past what has already happened to see what lies ahead?
Here are a few things #IChoose to follow to help me fight this battle. Read through to the very end if you are in the same war, and trying to find a way out.
Stop holding yourself up to unreal standards
The first thing you must realize is that you are merely human. And as a human, you can try as much as you can, but mistakes are bound to happen. There is no such thing as perfection. Hence, expecting yourself to be flawless at everything you do is only a foolish act. You can not be the best at everything. At maximum, you can only do your very best – and that too, may not be possible all the time.
What I am trying to say here is that it is impossible to lead a life having made no mistakes. And so when I do end up screwing up every now and then, #IChoose to cut myself some slack.
Instead of getting super angry, accept the situation and understand that a mistake was made, which brings us to our next point.
Recognize mistakes for mistakes
When a mistake has been made, make sure you see it for what it is. In the heat of the moment, we often exaggerate a simple blunder to being something that will ruin our lives forever. In doing so, we respond to this tiny blunder in that amplified way, which turns out to be a gross overaction on our part.
For this reason, #IChoose to look at my mistakes from a safe distance – if not just then, then definitely a short while later. I ask myself, is this really something losing my head over? Does this small slip up even deserve my night’s restful sleep? And most times, the answer I get is no.
Allow yourself to mourn for what is lost
But then again, sometimes I end up making bad mistakes. Maybe I royally messed up an interview and lost the chance at getting that perfect job. Perhaps I missed the deadline to apply for the scholarship that would have taken me to the school of my dreams. And maybe, I forgot to click send on that critical email, and have just been fired as a result.
In all of these situations, I allow myself to mourn for what is lost. #IChoose to have a good cry, and do whatever I need to do to get over that loss. It is only when I have come to terms with what has happened, that I can really begin to move forward.
Change things if you can
Though some faults might be permanent, many mistakes are not. Many wrongs can be made right, but only if we work towards making them right. Simply regretting over an error that you have made is not going to get you anywhere. If you are genuinely remorseful about what has happened, try to shape the outcome in the way that you want.
Look back at your mistake and ponder on what can be salvaged. Can you apply for that scholarship you wanted before the next term starts? what about searching for another job that matches the one you just lost? Can you reach out and apologize for the email that you forgot to send? If yes, achieving this new goal is where you need to channel all that energy.
Focus on your achievements
Sometimes, there is not much you can do to right the wrong. What’s done has been done. And the chances are that it will affect your life gravely. Even so, being stuck in that one place, overplaying what happened again and again in your head is not what you want to be doing, as we discussed before, it distracts you from what you want to achieve. It brings your confidence down and eliminates your faith in yourself. It is a one-ingredient recipe for disaster.
So, how can you combat these overly negative feelings that keep flooding your brain? Well, #IChoose to do this by focusing on what I have already achieved. I tell myself I am much more than just the wrong moves I have made. My oversights do not define me, because, for every mistake that I have ever made, there are a hundred that I did not.
Learn from your bad decisions
However, if you are constantly making mistakes and disregarding them, that too is not good. What is the point of messing up if you do not learn from the situation? Mistakes are meant to be learning experiences that help you do better the next time. If you are not self reflecting and letting things go just as they are, you are really not doing yourself any favours.
It is incredibly important to revisit your bad mistakes and break it down for your understanding. Where exactly did you go wrong, here? What could you have done differently? And how can you apply this knowledge in your future? These are the questions that you need to find the answer to if you are hoping for better results in your next attempt.
Seek forgiveness and grant forgiveness
When mistakes are made, asking for forgiveness becomes necessary. Often, apologizing to others is one of the first things that we do. But the one person we fail to seek forgiveness from is our self.
Whatever a mistake has been, it is likely to affect significantly the one who committed it. And so, it is vital to seek forgiveness from yourself, and grant ourselves that. Once you are indeed able to forgive yourself for the consequences, you are one step closer to getting over the mistake. Another good read on apologizing HERE.
Lets Wrap It Up
Making mistakes is inevitable. When you are living in this world, you are bound to make a good few – even if you are always trying your very best not to do so. Humans are fallible creatures, and it is not much you can do to change that. What you can change, however, is your response to making these mistakes.
Do you look at them as huge blunders that bring you down to nothingness? Or do you consider them as lessons you can learn from, or steps that you must take to get where you need to? Your outlook on the faux pas of your life can make all the difference in how they affect you in the long term