Have you ever screwed up and not followed through on a self-pledge? We all have, many times, and we are likely to continue, right? If that’s so, consider this. Wouldn’t it be a better strategy to give up on perfection and simply allow the screw-ups to occur? If we could do that without being so hard on ourselves, we’d be more fulfilled, waste less time and be far more productive.
Trust builds when agreements are honored. Thus it’s our self-trust that takes the biggest hit when we don’t follow-through as promised. So we need to trust ourselves once more to comeback from this temporary breach of reliability.
When we screw-up we can either change what occurred so that we don’t make the same mistake again or we can change how we feel about making mistakes. I find the latter to be just as effective and far easier to pull off.
Please get this. It’s not the mistake that derails you. It’s how you feel about letting yourself down. Since you admit that you are too hard on yourself, what might happen if you simply cut yourself some slack?
I’d like to introduce you to a couple of words and their definitions that you may have forgotten.
Forgive – to cease to feel resentment about.
Absolve – to free from guilt or blame or their consequences.
Have you forgotten that you have the power to self-forgive and to self-absolve? It’s often a necessary step before we can get ourselves back on track. I really want you to know a few things.
There is no limit to the number of fresh starts you can make. You can always begin again. As a coach, I often ask clients to give themselves permission to forget about past misses and begin anew. Absolve yourself. Let it go. Recognize the futility of holding onto the mistake and its accompanying guilt. Start over. Take a Mulligan.
If you take yourself too seriously, lighten up and praise your good. Most of us tend to overplay our misses and under-recognize our hits. You do a lot of things right, don’t you? Who sees those? Whose job is it to make sure they get duly noted and celebrated? Perhaps if you spent more time recognizing your progress and all the things you do well, you would no longer need to be so self-judgmental.
Know that making a mistake is not an indication that anything is wrong with you or fundamentally lacking in your makeup. As kids, many of us had adults place the “what’s wrong with you?” curse on us. Know and act on the basis that nothing is wrong with you. You are a child of God who occasionally misses the mark. So what, who doesn’t?
Sometimes when you disappoint and do not follow through, it means nothing. It could mean that you just screwed up. Perhaps in your enthusiasm you simply over-promised. Perhaps other priorities and/or opportunities entered the picture.
Mistakes are simply attempts that missed the mark. Lighten up. Start over. Forgive yourself. Let go of the misstep. Shrug it off. Release those guilty thoughts.
Mistakes are inevitable and without them we would have no feedback for course corrections and adjustments. If you’ve made a mistake, it’s already in your past. It’s behind you, so allow it to remain there.
You can come back from anything. Clear the air. Forgive yourself. Cut yourself some slack. Give yourself a break. Love yourself. Pick yourself up and dust yourself off. Begin anew. Life wants you to win.