Monday, July 23, 2012

You Can't Unring a Bell

You cannot unring a bell - or undo most mistakes - for that matter. Once the bell is rung, it's done. You can apologize for things you have said and done but you can never really take back those painful words or actions. However, that doesn't mean that the sound of the bell must continually reverberate in your ears. 

One of the worst things we can do is to replay our mistakes loudly in our heads. Yet, we all do it. It's second nature. We have to make an effort not to do it. Yet, that effort is essential. Without it, we tend the soil where the seeds of a fear of failure will grow.

Putting our mistakes on an endless loop means that we are focusing our mental energy and effort on them and when we focus on what we have done wrong, we aren't focusing on what we could be doing right or even on what we could have learned from our errors.

Focusing on failure inevitably forecasting that failure into the future. If we did it before, we'll do it again (or so we think). What a paralyzing thought!

We can't unring the bell but we could learn to hear it less frequently or on a softer volume. How do you do that?
  1. Learn from your Mistake: Mining your mistakes for the lessons there are to learn helps to immediately lessen the volume.
  2. Plan for the Future: Now that you know where you've went wrong, you can plan for the future in a way that will prevent (hopefully) that same mistake from happening again.
  3. Give yourself a break: Everyone makes mistakes and if you live long enough, you'll make more. However, move forward with the confidence of knowing that you probably won't make the same mistake again!

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