How to Handle Mistakes?

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Self ConfidenceEveryone makes mistakes – nobody is perfect.

You’ve heard those phrases many times, but have you really listened to them?

Confident people know how to learn from their mistakes.

Improving self confidence by handling your mistakes:

  • Everyone has faults. You need to learn to deal with your faults in a productive way and don’t let them make you feel inferior.
  • It starts in childhood. How you dealt with mistakes and how your parents reacted to your mistakes shapes how you deal with them as an adult.
  • When parents give unconditional acceptance to their children it encourages them to become independent and provides for the child to have positive feelings about themselves and their abilities.
  • On the other hand, if the parents were overly critical or overprotective it will damage the child’s ability to develop self-confidence.
  • As a child, you may have been punished for mistakes you made or you may have been ridiculed or chastised. If that happens too often, the person likely goes through life trying to avoid mistakes, instead of working through them.
  • To this person, it becomes almost worse to actually make a mistake than what the mistake actually is.
  • If you were chastised for mistakes by a parent when you were young, it is likely that you never fully developed that area of yourself that is self-acceptance.
  • Instead of accepting that you make mistakes and move on, you may have felt it necessary to hide mistakes and to practice self-rejection after making a mistake.
  • The good news is that you can change the way you handle mistakes that will make a profound improvement in your self-confidence.

Some people have a hard time assessing what their parents did for a fear of betrayal. Remember that your parents weren’t perfect. They did what they thought was best for you. It’s your turn to make some positive changes in your life. You won’t be able to move on until you understand how your parent’s attitudes affect you today.

Common responses from your parents and from yourself when you did a mistake:

When my father witnessed me making a mistake he

  • Would get angry and yell at me.
  • Would swear at me
  • Laughed at me or made fun of me
  • He would lecture me
  • He told me how he would do it right
  • He left the room
  • He blamed others for my mistakes

When my mother saw me make a mistake she

  • Told me I was hopeless or stupid
  • Called me names or told me I was a baby
  • She got angry
  • She got my dad involved
  • She took over and told me the right way to do it
  • She laughed at me

When I find I’ve made a mistake I

  • Tell myself how stupid I am
  • Think everyone will say I’m a loser
  • Say that I shouldn’t even try anymore
  • Think that it’s unforgivable
  • Feel angry
  • Cry or get emotional
  • Try to hide my mistake from others

When I make a mistake I hear myself saying

  • I have become my mother or father
  • I am taking over for my parents
  • I am worse than my parents were on me
  • My self-esteem is devastated by this mistake
  • If I can’t make mistakes I can’t grow

When I was a child, if someone had told me it was okay to make mistakes I

  • Would feel relieved
  • Would not feel so bad about myself
  • Could enjoy working without feeling so much pressure
  • Would let myself try new things
  • Could be more creative
  • Would be a happier person

If I was able to allow myself to make some mistakes I

  • Would probably not make as many mistakes
  • Would have more ideas
  • Could let myself go
  • Would be able to take more chances
  • Wouldn’t be so afraid to try new things
  • I’d accomplish more

If I was able to show myself compassion about mistakes I

  • Would be able to be myself more
  • Would like myself more
  • Wouldn’t be depressed
  • Wouldn’t be afraid all the time
  • Would be proud of who I am
  • Would be my own person

As I begin to feel better about making mistakes I

  • Think my work will get better
  • Will become a better parent
  • Will be able to try new things
  • Will feel less pressure
  • Feel hopeful
  • Think I can do this!

Now understand these questions and your responses. Try to find an understanding as to what your beliefs are about making mistakes and how you came to believe that.

The hardest part is to put away those beliefs and replace them with the knowledge that it is all right to make mistakes. No matter what happens, the outcome is a learning experience and you will not beat yourself up about it.

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