Mistakes. They happen. To all of us. There is not a single person on this planet that has not made a mistake. There is not a single person who has not experienced failure as a result of a mistake they made. It is not a question of if we are going to make a mistake but instead when and how many. That said, it seems strange to say that making mistakes is not really a problem or issue. It happens so frequently and is so common that it is simply a part of life. No, the problem I see too often is how people respond to making mistakes. Some people are able to easily forget and move on. While others have a particularly difficult time in forgetting, or more precisely, forgiving themselves. As a result, these people will harm themselves, hold themselves back because they cannot forgive themselves for making a mistake.
I see it in executives, lawyers, doctors, moms, dads, brothers and sisters. I see it in several of my clients, friends and family. You HAVE to forgive yourself. You deserve it. You deserve to have good things in life. You do not deserve failure and ruin just because you made a mistake.
Believe in you. Believe in your good qualities. Truly successful people are not people who have not failed. No, they are people who refused to give up after they failed. They are people who refused to let a mistake define them, to characterize them or to stop them. They learn from it and move on.
Refuse to be defined by your failures. Instead, define yourself by your successes, by your ability to overcome your mistakes and to forge ahead despite past mistakes. MAKE YOUR FUTURE. Do not let others, or worse, YOURSELF, define your future by your mistakes. MAKE IT ABOUT THE GOOD PART OF YOU. Find that part of you. Build from it. Make it who you are.
I forgive you. Do you forgive yourself?
Until the next time,
Jason Atchley, Strategy Consultant