making mistakesA new year has just begun and it’s time to reflect on the past year, the good and the not-so-good. We all make mistakes in our everyday living and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Although it can be frustrating, and at times, costly, making mistakes is valuable for us to learn and grow.

Every decision made, gives you the opportunity to do the right thing. Sometimes though, that decision is not always black and white. You make decisions based on the resources you have at that time. Then you take an action, and there is always a consequence to that action. It may be a good consequence, or not.  If not, it may be because you made a mistake.

We sometimes beat ourselves up over making mistakes, especially when it causes us stress in some way. If it’s minor, it’s no big deal so we may stress a little but get over it quickly.  We tend to stress in a big way when making mistakes that are big and costly that we don’t know how to correct, and most of the time it can be corrected.

Our emotions can get the better of us when making mistakes. After all, we are human and it’s part of our DNA.  This past year, possibly because of the situations I found myself in, I made mistakes, some costly, that caused a lot of stress.

Could I have avoided these mistakes? Possibly, but when your head is not in the game due to unforeseen circumstances, it happens. What I’ve learned is that I’m human and I will stop beating myself up for it.  A good way to do that is to take a pause and try to figure out how to fix the error. This way of thinking allows us to learn so that we don’t continue to make the same mistakes.

Focusing on how to fix a mistake can actually ease stress. It can put your mind into a different state so that you’re not obsessing over the error. You can also organize your thoughts and that will also help ease stress. One technique to organize a thought is called reframing. When you reframe a thought, it refers to the way that you consider it which helps with problem-solving.

So, in the future, when making mistakes, I encourage you to take a pause, and give yourself a break and learn from your mistakes so that you continue to grow.