Happiness After Making a Mistake

A few weeks ago, I was having a nice and relaxing drive on my way to yoga.  This all changed at a stoplight.  When I stopped at the red light, I thought the on-coming car was far enough back that I decided to turn right.  As soon as I turned, it was clear that the on-coming car did not at all agree with my assessment.  They sounded their horn as they followed me.   Then when I parked a few blocks beyond the stoplight, they honked again and gave me gestures of notable disapproval.  It was clear that they thought I had made a major mistake in turning the corner too close in front of them and I, after reflecting upon my decision, agreed with their assessment.

Mistakes can lead us to mistake our own identity.  Instead of a brilliant person who has happened to make a mistake, we can let the mistake alter the way we view ourselves.

How do you feel when you make a mistake?

We know to learn from our mistakes.  But natural feelings that might arise can hinder this learning process.  (And make us feel miserable at the same time.)  Along with shock and confusion, feelings of guilt, frustration and self-lack can come when we dwell on our weakness after making a mistake.  These feelings, though natural and sometimes very tempting to cling to, most likely do not aid us in our process of learning from the mistake and definitely do not help our peace of mind.

We probably learn best when we are relaxed, happy and willing to expand our knowledge.  So after we make a mistake, restoring our happiness, concentration and willingness to expand (as soon as we are able) is an important step.  Then from this place of clarity, we can ask ourselves questions like, “What can I learn from my mistake?” and  “How can my mistake help me and other people to do things in a different way in the future?”

We are extraordinary people.  Sometimes extraordinary people make mistakes.  With practice, we can teach ourselves to focus on our extraordinary nature even as we deal with the consequences of our mistakes and learn the wisdom that our mistakes have to teach us.

Game of the Day

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Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com.

6 Responses to Happiness After Making a Mistake

  1. Stephanie Hartmann ollerich says:

    What a great message! Sometimes we are so busy in focusing on what went wrong to realize that it can teach us a valuable lesson in what we can do right!

    • Hi Stephanie! What you say about the potential positive power of a mistake is wonderful, “it can teach us a valuable lesson in what we can do right!” I love how you said this. Thank you!

  2. Rachel says:

    I loved reading this…thanks for your honesty and claity

  3. Rachel Fitzgerald says:

    Jason,

    Thank you for reminding me that letting go of miserable feelings allows room for learning and growth after a mistake!

  4. You are very welcome Rachel!

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