Dealing With Mistakes


We all make mistakes, and if you’re sensitive you can feel pretty bad about them. It’s not a pleasant experience but we need to try and make the best of even difficult situations. When you make mistakes and your whole world turns upside down, these are some strategies to cope.

Don’t Be Burdened with Guilt.

In a previous post, we looked at how to avoid being overburdened with guilt. Guilt is not a helpful emotion, it just aggravates the feeling of despondency. We should also avoid being embarrassed. Just look at a few politicians; a few mistakes don’t stop them being pubic figures.

The art of Apology.

Some mistakes we can apologise for. We don’t need to lose self-respect, we need to just apologise calmly and sincerely. It requires a certain strength to apologise and admit mistakes, but, it is a necessary step to moving forward.

Don’t Dwell on Mistake Too much

The mind can magnify a relatively small mistake and make it feel of tremendous importance. Don’t keep going through the problem in your mind, wishing you had done things differently. If we think about problems too much it can give them an undeserved importance and we become overburdened with them.

Don’t Try to Justify It.

Sometimes we give a mistake too much importance and significance; but, at other times we try to ignore it or justify it to ourselves. When we try to justify a mistake and the mind tries to blame it on other people, this is not good. Making mistakes is not the end of the world, but, we do need to learn from them. If we just try to distort reality then we will not be able to learn and move forward from the mistake.

  • Be careful, the mind can be very good at justifying wrong actions and mistakes, but, when we start doing this we will just continue to make future mistakes.

Humility is a Valuable quality.

If we never made mistakes, we may become bloated with pride. Mistakes remind us that we are not infallible. Sometimes from mistakes can come real humility and empathy; qualities which can give us a new and more sympathetic perspective. Don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect. What matters most is our inner attitude and not our outer success / failure.

Resolve not to Repeat

The best thing we can learn from a mistake is how to improve our future attitude / life. Taken in this way, mistakes can be an invaluable and necessary part of life.

Keep  A Sense of Humour

Sometimes the best way to deal with mistakes is through humour. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Being able to laugh at your slip ups can be an endearing quality. Obviously it depends upon the mistake, but, humour can be a good antidote to even quite big mistakes.


Be willing to forgive yourself – See: Art of forgiveness


Photo: Irish World Harmony Run

5 thoughts on “Dealing With Mistakes”

  1. Mistakes and failures are life’s way of putting a flag up that says “Hey, there’s something to learn here!” Ones who takes the time to assess and learn the lessons have no need for repeating them.


  2. Hello, I have just come to this blog for the first time and find it very helpful. You also have some beautful images here that radiate harmony. Thank you.

  3. Three days go, I gave the wrong medications to a patient and I called my supervisor right away. To make the story short, I was called today to see our Head of the Company. He was very gracious, yet, I feel so much pain of the incidence. I am still anxious and scared, what if i make a mistake again? I am really bothered.

    This article is great, yet, I am still scared of makong mistakes.):

  4. This is great. I am going to post it on two nursing listserves. Maybe you’ll get a blip in visitors in the next few days. Keep up the great work.

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