Last time, we talked about noticing your response to making mistakes.
I suggested that how you view mistakes and how you feel about yourself when you make them is a contributor to your stress.
You and I are going to make mistakes. No matter how we plan and prepare, sometimes things do not go the way we expect them to go.
We might mess up when no one notices, or in front of someone important to us.
Some of us have a really strong self-critical response to making a mistake.
“How could I have been so stupid to…?”
“When will I ever learn that…?”
“I knew I wasn’t good enough for…”
Forgiving yourself isn’t a woo-woo self-care exercise. It’s a key part of managing your brain. It’s essential to developing the resiliency to handle stress.
A few thoughts on your self-talk when you make a mistake:
- When you make a mistake, do you talk to yourself like you’d talk to your child or your best friend?
- Where did you learn to talk to yourself like that?
- When you make a mistake, is how you talk to yourself helpful?
At the end of the day, the secret to managing stress is to love yourself so much that you develop the habit of noticing your thoughts and choosing ones that help you.
You may worry that being nice to yourself will encourage you to “get away with” sub-standard behavior. I think being critical is a blocker to managing your stress for better performance.
So, you made a mistake. How do you move on? Perhaps think helpful thoughts like:
- Well, now I learned a way that I do NOT want to do this next time.
- Humans make mistakes. I’m human. Chances are, I’ll make a mistake too, then.
When you think helpful thoughts, you open the door to a second chance which I’ll talk about next time.
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