In the aftermath of failures and mistakes, our future success and self improvement can be severely jeopardized by judging ourselves harshly and adopting attitudes about how stupid we are.
Certainly, accepting responsibility for mistakes and failures is a very worthwhile self help process that leads to self improvement. Valuable lessons can be learned and applied to create future success. However, there is a fine line between learning lessons from our failures and mistakes, and beating ourselves up over them. There’s not much we can do to ourselves that is more damaging to long term success, than beating ourselves up over failure and mistakes because we “should have known better.” We have many more Self Improvement Articles Now Available.
Some mistakes and failures may be repeats; where you inherently knew you might regret your actions while in mid-stride of doing them. Peer pressure, seeking acceptance, going along with the crowd, or wanting to be in control — are all weaknesses that can wreck success. Such instances are self help and self improvement opportunities, to change your attitude and honor what you know is best for your future success.
From that standpoint, “I should have known better” provides healthy self help over the short haul because it leads to immediate self improvement and gets you back on track and serious about not repeating old mistakes and failures.
Regardless of why you beat yourself up, and separate from whether or not that attitude leads to short term success, beating yourself up for failures and mistakes will kill your chances of success over the long haul.
When you continuously hold the attitude that you are stupid and wrong for mistakes and failures, the result is no different than the damage done when another person repeatedly sends you that message. Another person’s words can tear down and destroy you, ONLY when you accept their attitude as the truth about yourself. Just because someone else has an attitude that you’re a loser, doesn’t make you a loser. You become a loser when their opinion turns into your belief about yourself. Eleanor Roosevelt said it this way, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Overcoming mistakes requires that you stop holding negative attitudes about yourself, whether they are self started or the opinions of others. You do that when you adopt the new self help attitude –
WHAT YOU THINK OF ME IS NONE OF MY BUSINESS
The next time someone criticizes you, consider smiling at them and using this self help tip. Say to them, “Thank you for sharing, but what you think of me is none of my business.” Be calm and considerate. Inform them like you would inform them that a rainstorm is coming. Upon hearing those words, the accuser will likely be speechless as they contemplate what you just said, what it means, and how they can be that stand for themselves.
Even if you choose not to say those words out loud, saying them silently is also a very powerful self help tip. Whether the criticism is from yourself or someone else, you are consciously aware that you are guarding yourself from having negative attitudes and opinions enter your mind and destroy your chances for future success.
Self help and long term success isn’t possible when you beat yourself up about past mistakes and failures. The reality is that you were a different person before your mistake or failure. At the time of your failure or mistake, you didn’t have the awareness, attitudes, wisdom, or strength that you’ve gained from looking back. You are being unfair to yourself when you use insights you gain from looking back, to beat yourself up for mistakes you made before you had them.
Long term self improvement after mistakes and failures, requires making a personal Declaration of Independence; to live independently from negative attitudes that arise in you or are expressed by others when you make a mistake or have a failure.
Ask yourself these questions:
* How am I beating myself up about my mistakes and failures? What attitudes do I hold that hinder my success and leave me feeling down?
* How have I allowed myself to be hurt by destructive attitudes and opinions of others after a failure?
* Relative to my failures and mistakes, what am I proud of myself for (for who I’m being, what I’m doing and saying, and what I’m aware of for self improvement going forward)? We have many more Self Improvement Articles Now Available.