How to stop beating yourself up

Cartoon about beating yourself up

Sometimes you make a mistake or miss an opportunity and you just want to beat yourself up over it. You feel like you have to atone for your mistake in a big way. The bigger the mistake, the more serious the atonement. Maybe you wail in anguish over your mistake. Maybe you just ruminate and lose sleep.

It’s not really helpful though. Beating yourself up doesn’t help anyone. Not you, for sure. It just makes you feel lousy. It’s not helping other people, either — even if your problem is you’ve wronged somebody else and feel bad about it.

You can’t go through life without making mistakes. It happens to everybody. In fact you can’t really become better at anything without making mistakes along the way. If you aren’t making any mistakes, you aren’t challenging yourself.

When you do screw something up it’s probably better to look for something positive you can do. Resolve not to make the same mistake again in the future. Own up to your mistake, whatever it is, say oops, and try to make positive moves from hereon out.

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