We unconsciously judge ourselves by external influencers all the time. And so much so that we are feeling constantly judged or that we can never do anything “right”. But who decides if are actions are a mistake?
We allow ourselves to think that we can never make mistakes…. that society or our colleagues or our friends/family will judge our actions as good or bad or that we are a failure. It is our thoughts, emotions, and perception of what our actions mean that can set us free from judgement. It is a way that we can change our view about our actions as learning opportunities versus mistakes. If we allow ourselves permission and freedom to make mistakes, we are creating an opportunity for growth. The quote above resonated with me because it is important that we make a shift in our thoughts so that we treat our lives independent of external influences. We can lead are lives knowing that there will be mistakes along the way and that is okay if we rectify them and learn from them.
Of course, we still are responsible for the outcomes of our actions. We can also be open to influence on our actions by constantly working on improving ourselves (being a better me today than I was yesterday) and listening to feedback. But not getting caught up in a guilt trip and punish ourselves for these honest mistakes. The more we punish ourselves for a mistake, the worse we feel. This then sets off a chain reaction of deepening the wound and creating more negative thoughts and guilt. Instead seek the path for a solution by being open to constructive feedback, thinking what can be don’t to rectify the situation and what lessons were learned.
One technique that was recently recalled when I started on the path of beating myself up for a perceived “mistake” was to employ the “Oh well!” technique. Sometimes you just have to say, “oh well!” I made a mistake, take responsibility for the decision or action, take a deep breath, and move into positive action. It is also worthy to note here that sometimes what we perceive as a mistake was not even noted by others. Putting the brakes on those thoughts or labeling something will stop the path of blame and create a path of positivity along with a way forward toward solutions. Of course, this is not going to be a stress-free route into action. Yet only this way of thinking can lead us to the road toward reconciliation or growth.
If we genuinely want to change, we need to take a leap of faith and act on the opportunity to resolve a problem. We need to not allow the idea of making a mistake or being judged hold us back. There is never going to be a mistake free life. Open yourself up to a life of possibilities and opportunities and see what happens next.