I love this one. Mentally strong people apparently do not repeat their mistakes…seems so easy, no? You made a mistake once, you know you did something wrong, you know the outcome, but still…you do it again. And this can be applied to any sphere of our lives.
Being stubborn, impulsivity, getting too comfortable about something, are all reasons that can get you to do the same wrong thing over and over again. And what happens than? Again you are stuck and you are going nowhere…you are not growing…you are running in circles:
- you won’t reach your goals
- the problem won’t get solved
- you will end up thinking differently about yourself, affecting your confidence on the way
- you may not try as hard
- you will end up frustrating yourself and others
- you may end up blaming others, which will affect your relationship with them
- you may develop irrational beliefs to excuse your mistakes
The only way to break this circle is to stop and analyze the mistake: what went wrong? what could I have done better? what can I do differently next time to avoid it from happening again?
You literally need to have conversation with yourself in your head. And be vigilant of the situations that you encounter down the line that might lead you to make the same mistake again. It takes a lot of effort but can be achieved. I personally went through this journey a few years ago: I was “making faces” during meetings, I was unable to control my feelings both verbally and internally, and the outcome was always the same: my emotions would get me in trouble, both with others and with myself. I literally had to talk myself out of my old behavior anytime I was catching myself about to make the same mistake. I had to force myself to control my facial expression to ensure it wouldn’t show my true colors, and I would have to think that business it’s not personal, so I shouldn’t take things at heart so much. I am not going to lie to you, it took time, it took discipline, it took mental exercise, it took practice. But it worked and now I feel that my mistake is now in the past and I am able to control myself in most situations.
I could write a book of other past mistakes that I wish I didn’t do, or that I wish I could go back in time and change. But when I catch myself thinking this way, I am reminded that I am who I am thanks to those experiences and I should focus on the present and the future to come.
To help you out, you can follow the below steps:
- acknowledge your personal responsibility for each mistake – do not blame others
- create a plan to prevent repeating the mistake
- identify triggers and warning signs of old behavior patterns
- practice self-discipline strategies
You are still on time to create your future as you want it. Don’t waste time thinking about a past you cannot change.