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5 Ways to Avoid Focusing on Your Mistakes or Regrets

We all make mistakes, and sometimes it is painful to be responsible for those mistakes. At the same time, we also hopefully learn from our mistakes and achieve success by doing things differently moving forward. Ideally, we can use this knowledge as motivation in our lives and not let our past mistakes drag us down.

But alas, many of us tend to dwell on our mistakes.

Getting stuck in the spin cycle of dwelling can demoralize us and send us on a roller coaster of hard-to-handle emotions, such as regret, shame, and self-blame. In actuality, we are only human. Therefore, mistakes are inevitable.

Staring at past errors and brooding over those mistakes isn't a terribly helpful use of time or energy. Instead of focusing on what went wrong or how screwed up we are, consider what it would be like to adopt an attitude of forgiveness and openness to learning and improving.

HYow can you avoid focusing on your mistakes? These tips can help:

1. Write down a list of the lessons your mistakes taught you and read them when regrets pop up. Regret is an integral part of setting goals and can help you set goals to improve yourself.

  • Regret presents you with an opportunity to think about how differently you could have acted, and it prompts you to make yet another effort to succeed.

  • Instead of drowning in thoughts about how things could've turned out better, write down the lessons you learned from your mistakes. Take note of how much you've changed since then.

2. Forgive yourself. Feeling regret means you have standards you want to uphold. But the fact that you're human also means you will fall short of your expectations from time to time. If you make mistakes, forgive yourself and move on with your life.

  • Accepting that you have the power to learn and grow from your mistakes will make you happier in the long run.

  • You won't automatically feel like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders once you forgive yourself. But as time goes on, you'll start feeling much better.

3. Distract yourself from thinking about your regrets. If you spend too much time dwelling on the things you've done wrong, you're going to feel miserable. Instead, find ways to occupy your mind with things that make you happy.

  • Spend time with family and friends, listen to music, or watch a TV show to give yourself some downtime. Don't let your regrets overwhelm you.

  • Consider changing up some routines to jolt you into feeling better. For example, you could try something new each day, like going to a new restaurant or vegetable market to try fresh foods or traveling somewhere new.

4. Accept your mistakes and learn to accept yourself. No one is perfect, and you can't change who you were or what you did in the past.

  • You could apologize to people who hurt your feelings or say you're sorry if you accidentally said something hurtful. You might even try to forgive yourself. It's not easy, but it's healthy for your mind, heart, and soul.

  • But don't worry: Accepting yourself doesn't mean you let your mistakes get away from you. Instead, you can use them as motivation to do better in the future.

  • Not only will accepting yourself and your mistakes stop you from beating yourself over them, but it'll also help you overcome your fear of making mistakes altogether, which could've prevented you from achieving your goals.

5. Journal. Sharing your thoughts on difficult or painful subjects and expressing your emotions can help you work through your pain. You can put pen to paper and write down your thoughts and feelings.

  • You don't have to keep your journal forever but ensure that you are honest about what you're writing. It can be hard to think about anything positive when you're upset. Writing about your problems may help you get some of your energy back.

  • Journaling can also make you feel more positive about yourself and your situation.

Mistakes and regrets happen to everyone, but dwelling on them doesn't always help. When you dwell on your mistakes, you can become overwhelmed by the negative emotions of regret.

Whether you realize it or not, dwelling on your mistakes makes you believe that you're a failure. It can make you feel disappointed, ashamed of yourself, and even guilty, which is not true! Mistakes are part of being human and they help us learn!

Forgive yourself and focus on the good things in your life. Keep in mind that you've grown as a person and changed for the better. You are only human, and humans make mistakes.


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