5 Steps to Stop Being Overwhelmed by Your Mistakes

Making mistakes is a natural part of life, but it can be easy to become overwhelmed by them. Whether it’s a small error or a major misstep, it’s important to learn how to move forward and regain your confidence. With an abundant mindset, you can overcome overwhelm and take control of your life.

Practice Self-Compassion & Forgiveness to Slow the Overwhelm

Bring to mind your last mistake or misstep. Perhaps it was as recently as yesterday or even today. Or maybe it was a while ago. Think about what happened.

What didn’t work out? How did you respond to it? What did you say to yourself? What belief do you now hold about yourself as a result of that “failure”?

What I know for sure is this… Mistakes, missteps, and failures are uncomfortable. And they can lead to overwhelming thoughts and feelings. We may feel disappointed, angry, embarrassed, helpless, frustrated, sad, vulnerable or all of the above in response. But failure happens to ALL of us at one time or another.

Every. Single. Person. And that includes you and me.

The difference between a failure being a stepping stone or a stumbling block is your decision to acknowledge your mistake and forgive yourself. Game-changing questions to ask yourself after a mistake or failure are this, “what have I learned?” and “what can I do now with this new learning?”

Grace is needed to move forward from our mistakes.

Thankfully, each misstep offers valuable information which can guide future behavior. It then becomes a stepping stone to help us grow. If we interpret a failure as an indicator of our identity and falsely think, “I am a failure,” that self-definition becomes a stumbling block and keeps us painfully chained to a past that can’t be changed.

An abundant mindset includes recognizing our fallibility and still accepting ourselves even when we miss the mark sometimes. It’s ok to give yourself grace. In fact, it’s the stepping stone to becoming a stronger version of the person you are meant to be.

“To err is human, to forgive is divine.” -Alexander Pope

First Steps to Overcoming Your Mistakes

If you are lugging around the regret and overwhelm of past failures, today is the day to set yourself free. It’s within your power to choose to see each mistake as a stepping stone by taking these actions:

  1. Write out what happened.
  2. Reflect on what happened before, including your thoughts, beliefs, and circumstances that round out the picture surrounding your error.
  3. Put your hand over your heart and speak these words, “(your name), I’m sorry I let you down. I’m not perfect, and there are many other people in the world right now feeling what I’m feeling. I choose to be kind and gentle with myself. I forgive myself for (name it).”
  4. Now, write what you have learned and what you are committing to do differently going forward that aligns with your future goals.
  5. Take a deep breath, smile, and move on.

That is how you grow…Not by being perfect (that’s overwhelming and impossible), but by humbling yourself and acknowledging that you are on a journey of growth and healing.

If you struggle with giving yourself grace, I suggest you begin by going to Jesus, Who provides abundant grace and forgiveness. He’s not mad at you. He’s not disgusted or disappointed with you. He hurts for and with you. Ask for His help, His wisdom, and His strength. He lovingly and graciously provides everything you need.

Let me ask you this question: Do you need some help living a peace-filled life? If you’re walking through overwhelming times and need some support and encouragement, please click here to schedule a complimentary call with me. We’ll talk through your unique situation and see if one-on-one coaching is the help you need most right now.

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June 13, 2023


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By Dr. Richelle Hoekstra-Anderson & Tom Ziglar