Then I Heard a Loud CRUNCH! – What if mistakes are lessons in disguise?

 In Better Life, Negative emotions

Do you ever get mad at yourself for making a mistake?

I was slowly backing out of the parking spot when I heard my husband yell something from the passenger seat. Too late! A moment later, I heard a loud CRUNCH! #$!%!! I had caught the edge of one of the parking ramp pillars with the driver’s side door. Sure enough, there was a nice set of scratches and a dent in the door. How could I be so stupid?!

When mistakes like this happen, I’ve discovered that there are many lessons we can find.  

  1. Self-forgiveness. Getting mad at myself won’t change what happened. I can beat myself up for hours or days, but it doesn’t accomplish anything except make me feel bad. Instead, it’s rich material to practice self-forgiveness and to give myself permission to be human.
  2. What would I do differently next time to avoid a similar mistake? Well, I would try not to park next to a cement pillar. And if I have no choice, I would be even more diligent in checking my mirrors.
  3. Keeps me humble. So the next time someone else makes a mistake, I can have a little more compassion and forgiveness for them. This is my favorite! 

A  few days later, my husband was backing out of our garage. When he came inside, he was mad at himself. “I can’t believe I didn’t notice how close I was to the side of the open garage door! I managed to hit the mirror and crack the housing around it. #$!%!!”

Hmmmm. What can I say to him? See #3 above. “I know how you feel!”

I hope you don’t make any mistakes this week. But if you do or if you catch someone else making one, give the lessons above a try.

Chip Lutz guest blog - The Positive EdgeSelf-confidence Self-compassion The Positive Edge