We all make mistakes in life. We are human, it is going to happen. Some mistakes are easy to move past. Others stick with us for a while. Here are some things you can do to help move past mistakes:
1) Accept we are human and make mistakes
No one is perfect. Even very successful CEOs fail, have bad ideas, or poor implementations from time to time. So you did something you regret? So does everyone. You are in good company. But successful people don’t stay stuck there. Viewing these failures as an opportunity to learn and grow can be very helpful in forging yourself as well as learning and moving forward.
2) Accept the mistake happened and your role in it
This is not an easy step, but it is necessary. Mistakes happen, but an honest look at why can become very productive. If someone doesn’t take an honest look, they may miss opportunities to improve (more on that below) or to avoid making the same mistake again.
It is also helpful to carefully look for any way that we contribute to the problem. It may be a small way, or a big way. Size of the contribution doesn’t matter, just acknowledge that it is there.
3) Develop a plan to do better
Look at what you learned from #2. If you are in a similar situation again, how can you avoid the mistakes or get a better outcome? If needed, talk to others to have a rock-solid plan.
4) Reassess and, as needed, remind yourself thoughts and feelings can lie to us
If that little voice keeps telling you to beat yourself up, repeat this process. Did you miss anything? Do you honestly owe someone something to make amends? Or are you lying to yourself?
See, not every thought or emotion is an accurate reflection of our situation. We can essentially lie to ourselves. Did you do everything you can to correct the situation and prevent a recurrence? So those thoughts and feelings of guilt are not productive. They are false guilt. Find ways to remind yourself that you don’t have anything to be guilty about and to move forward. Those thoughts and feelings should decrease over time. If they don’t, seeking professional help may be beneficial to help with moving forward.