Be Gentle with Your Mistakes: Stress Cool Tool # 29September 7, 2012
I realized yesterday that I’d skipped over Cool Tool #29.
In the past I would have felt shame and embarrassment. Along the way I had ingrained the message that mistakes were bad. I can’t say that I’m never embarrassed about forgetting something these days. But at least I have more perspective.
The Human Element
Somehow I learned that we all make mistakes. It’s laughable to think I wasn’t aware of this simple truth. I’ve never read Richard Carlson’s Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, but I love the title. What a great de-stressor to not worry over things you can’t change.
Here’s what I do with my mistakes these days.
- Get perspective. Is this mistake life threatening? (So far I haven’t uttered a yes to this question.)
- Is there a way to rectify my mistake? If I get a yes, then I take action. If my answer is no, I move onto question #3.
- Is there anything I can learn from this mistake? I teach a business class at Oregon School of Massage. I left home without my class notes, student homework, etc. one week. Whoops. So now I park my bag where I have to step over it to leave. No more forgotten bag.
- Forgive myself and move on.
What a great de-stressor this process has been for me. It frees up energy for doing things more in align with my purpose and goals like writing blog posts.
How do you handle making mistakes? Any tips to add? I’d love to add your suggestions to my tool bag.
PS. Coaching serves as a supportive way to learn from mistakes and create new helpful patterns. Your initial consultation to learn more and see if we’re a good match is free.