The Work: "Fix My Mistake"
As human beings, we are all prone to making poor choices and bad decisions, things we refer to as mistakes. When we do make a mistake, more often than not we come to the conclusion that we are wrong and bad, or that what we have done is an indication of failure. We are socialized and conditioned in school, in our families or at work to feel guilty about our failures. As a result, we will do whatever possible to avoid mistakes. For this and a multitude of other reasons, it is difficult at best, and rare in most instances, that the average human being will readily own up to a mistake. Mistakes often lead to a sense of shame or guilt. These two toxic emotions—combined with the inevitability of judgments and criticism that often come with any attempt to explain how you did what you did or did not do—motivate most people to hide their mistakes or resist the revelation of a perceived failure. We are simply not prepared for the heat that comes with acknowledging we have messed up.
The only way to learn from a mistake is to admit that you have made one. If, instead, you blame other people or make excuses for yourself, you drop a veil between yourself and the learning opportunity a mistake provides. Admission of a mistake, even to yourself, creates a learning opportunity. When you can courageously admit to a mistake, poor choice or bad decision, there is a mental and emotional opening for a deeper understanding of yourself and what motivates your thought and behavior.
This study guide is offered to support you in developing the skills and courage required to acknowledge a mistake. As you complete the inquiries, stay focused on you, your thoughts and your motivations, even if other people are involved. As you open your heart and mind to compassionately acknowledge what you have done or not done, you open the door for healing, learning and growth.
I believe I made a mistake when:
I believe this was a mistake because:
What I really wanted was:
What has happened to me as a result of this mistake is:
What has happened in my life as a result of this mistake is:
What I tell myself about myself because of this mistake is:
What I tell myself about my life because of this mistake is:
If not for making this mistake, I would: (Be, Feel, Have, Do)
What I have learned about myself as a result of this mistake is:
What I am now willing to forgive myself for is:
What I am now willing to do is: