“Every son of Adam makes mistakes, and the best of those who make mistakes are those who repent.” (Tirmidhi)
Everybody makes mistakes. There is no way around it and no way to avoid it. No matter how hard you try to be perfect, you will eventually make mistakes. Your life is not determined by perfection, but by how you deal with your mistakes.
For many of us, our ways of dealing with mistakes lead us down wrong paths. Some people allow their mistakes to define them, to lead them into darkness, or at the very least to sap their confidence in their ability to be better. These are the wrong ways to deal with your mistakes. The next time you make a mistake, try doing the following instead:
1. Stay calm and avoid negative self-talk
You know the feeling. You just tried your best to do something good and it blew up in your face. All you can see in front of you is the mess you made in your attempt to be good.
You feel angry, you feel frustrated, you can feel the negative thoughts flowing in: “You are not good enough!” “How can you be so stupid!” “What is wrong with….NO! No negative thoughts for me!” Shun them, Push them aside and simply accept the reality, “I am a human and I made a mistake, that’s all there is to it,” Let the calmness of accepting your human nature take over, and don’t let those thoughts in.
2. Look for the lesson in your mistakes
Now that you are calm, its time to look at what went wrong. Yes, you made a mistake but mistakes are lessons and learning experiences, so treat it as one. Analyze your moves, thoughts, and emotions.
Ask yourself three questions: Where did I go wrong? What can I learn from it? And most importantly, what steps can I take to avoid making this mistake again in future? Writing down your answers will help you to think clearer and remember the lesson longer. Turn the situation into a life lesson that you will benefit from for life.
3. Stay focused on your goal and find another way to accomplish it
Don’t allow your mistake to sidetrack you from your goal. Before you made the mistake, you were focused on something important. Do you remember what it was? Good, now get back on track and find another way to accomplish that goal which doesn’t include this mistake.
4. Apologize if your mistake hurt someone else
If someone else was hurt in the process, don’t even think twice about apologizing and fixing it. Swallow your ego and fix it immediately. You know that you are a good person who was trying to do the right thing, so stay noble and apologize. Its the only way forward.
5. Repent if it was a sin
Finally, if your mistake was doing something that is displeasing to your Creator, then seek His Forgiveness, find a way to avoid doing it in future, and move on. He is Most-Forgiving, Most Merciful and accepts all sincere repentance.
If you do these five things, you can continue towards your noble goals, and eventually accomplish them, no matter how many times you slipped along the road.
Learn more about how to overcome your mistakes in my e-book: