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How to Recover from a Big Mistake (Trust Us, It's Possible)

Recovering from Life's Biggest Mistakes

Mistakes can be excellent learning opportunities, but it's not always easy to maintain that sort of mindset when you're reeling from a mishap. Whether you've chosen the wrong career path or the wrong romantic partner, these tips will help you put things into perspective, so you can recover and move on.

Try to fix it. Even some of the worst mistakes are fixable if we approach them with genuine accountability. Think of all the ways you can try to repair your mistake. Have you really done everything you can to minimize the negative impact on yourself and others? If not, roll up your sleeves and try to make things better. If you've already tried unsuccessfully, it's time to accept the outcome and adjust your outlook according to the new circumstances. If you have not done everything you can to fix your mistake, try. If you have, give yourself permission to move one.

Focus on the future. When we make a big mistake, it's very difficult to keep from reliving the moment in our heads. Although it may seem like the end of the world, one error does not define you unless you allow it to dictate your future. Jazz legend Miles Davis once said, if you hit a wrong note, it's the next note that you play that determines if it is good or bad. Apply this wisdom to your life by focusing on the next step. With some courage and belief, you can recover from even the most colossal blunders in your career, relationships and otherwise.

Be open about it. To err is human, and no one is perfect. Whatever you have done, you need to own the mistake and the consequences. Apologize to everyone affected by your choices and actions. Seek support from your network, your therapist and mentors. Don't try to hide your mistake or deny your responsibility. Don't be too ashamed to talk about it. The people you know may have dealt with similar mistakes and could possibly provide advice on how to handle the outcome and move past the situation. Seek out support to help you gain strength to move on.

Accept the outcome. We all make mistakes in our lives, and the results can often be difficult to live with. Sometimes, mistakes are so impactful, they cause us to lose jobs, relationships or self-esteem. Try to accept that you are a work in progress. Don't wallow in your disappointment or lament what could or "should" have been. Pick yourself up, take whatever lesson you can from the experience and accept the outcome as your new reality. You can't move forward until you accept your circumstances. Remember that life is a long journey, and there will be more mistakes and more lessons along the way.

Be honest about the cause. Sometimes, we make honest mistakes because we're simply human. Other times, our mistakes are the result of bad decisions or selfish behaviors. Honestly assess why you made an error. Was it a result of alcohol or drug abuse? Did you put your needs before someone else's? Is this mistake part of a pattern of errors resulting from poor choices? Sometimes, we need help to get to the root cause of our behaviors. If you find yourself in a pattern of mistakes, consider seeking the counsel of a therapist who can help you get to the root of your behaviors and develop strategies for making better choices. Sometimes mistakes can be wake-up calls that alert us that we need to make big changes in the way we live our lives.

Our caring therapists can help you overcome life's challenges and live your best life. Contact us today!