Move forward: We all make mistakes. It’s part of human evolution. I’m still living in a cave and dragging my knuckles, but onward I go. I continue to add to my archive of personal errors. I wish I had a Control+Alt+Delete button at the ready but I’m sure there will be an app for that someday.
Mistakes become a problem when we keep repeating them – how profound! We obviously didn’t learn anything from it. Worst yet, doing so stalls any positive progress we may have begun making in life.
It’s taken me years to realize that if I eat lots of deli meat (my favorite is Hawaiian Ham), drink martinis “frequently”, and not exercise, I will gain weight. Every week, after abusing my body, I would step on the scale and curse the heavens. It was no mystery. I kept sticking my hand in the fire and getting burned.
If you're ready to stop making the same mistakes, consider the following recommendations:
Identify the Mistakes You Repeat
This goes without saying, but say it I must (that was my Yoda impersonation). You can't take action on your mistakes (or anything) until you identify and acknowledge them. Strive to be more mindful of your behaviors. If you make a mistake, ask yourself if this is something you keep doing.
Why Does This Keep Happening?
Once you have singled out a mistake (or more) that you keep repeating, ask yourself why this keeps happening. Is there a pattern to the behavior? Are you trying to sabotage something? Are you afraid to move forward in life? Do you feel as though you aren’t worthy of moving forward? Get to the bottom of it! Once you do so, you can start working on overcoming the reasons.
How Do My Mistakes Harm Me (and others!)?
A great way to avoid making the same mistakes again is to carefully consider how they are harming you. When you identify your mistakes' negative impact, you will naturally feel more motivated to stop them. Additionally, it’s important to consider how your mistakes are harming your loved ones. This too will serve as motivation. Think about this.
Learn a Lesson from Your Mistakes
A mistake isn't necessarily a problem if it teaches you a lesson. Make “Failing Forward” your new mindset. I KNOW, I KNOW, another bumper sticker slogan, but it’s so true and deserves your consideration. Make sure that you take a lesson from each mistake you make. When it comes to recurring mistakes, the lesson should be to identify the precursors and establish ways to focus your behavior on attaining healthier outcomes.
Address Your Weaknesses
Once you have identified your recurring mistakes, check to see if they are caused in part by any weaknesses you have. Are you prone to anger or anxiety? Do you self-medicate with food, drugs, or alcohol? Is your ego driving your behavior? Consider taking the steps needed to address your weaknesses.
Surround Yourself with Honest Friends
If you can't address a weakness on your own, consider asking a close friend or seeking the services of a professional therapist – there is no shame in doing so! You can break the cycle of repeated mistakes by surrounding yourself with friends that aren't scared to tell you how it is. When you have loved ones that feel comfortable calling you out, it will help you to stop making the same mistakes. They will tell you what you need to hear instead of what you want to hear. By the same token, avoid toxic people – they will aim to draw you into their world and perhaps encourage you to make the very mistakes you are trying not to repeat!
I hope you have found this information helpful. I believe it’s a great starting point to help you get closer to reaching your fullest potential. Remember that this does not happen overnight. Be kind to yourself and embrace the process of growing as a human being.
Yes, we can employ the concept of Control+Alt+Delete
by learning to Control our situation, to seek an Alternative
outcome, and to Delete the threat of regret. ~Ted
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