How do you feel when you make a mistake?
Do you have a different feeling when you make a big mistake instead of a small mistake?
Do you feel differently about your mistake when only you notice versus when the mistake happens in front of someone else?
Understanding how you respond to your missteps is a key part of learning how to control your stress.
Stress is usually about unmet expectations, for yourself or the situations and people in your life.
The word “should” is an indicator that your mind might be generating stress.
Recently I had an experience where I felt like I made a big mistake. I’ve worked very deliberately to become a “better” version of myself. On that night, I stepped into an old habit and it happened in front of someone else. Someone that I’m trying to “convince” that I’ve “changed.”
So many things are wrong with that situation, including trying to craft my behaviors to get a response from someone else. For now, though, we’ll stick with me feeling like I’d made a “big mistake” and “blew it” – meaning I risked the relationship I am trying to cultivate. My mind went crazy.
You know that phrase “the beatings will continue until morale improves”? Yep. That was me, 100%, in my brain.
I’ve noticed that I have often seen mistakes as evidence that I wasn’t smart or good enough, or that behavior changes weren’t going to “stick”.
That thinking generates a lot of stress for me.
This week, pay attention to how you talk to yourself about your mistakes. Pay attention to events that you label mistakes.
Next time, we’ll talk about the process of forgiving ourselves in a new way.
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