This may come as a surprise to you, lols, but I am not completely perfect. I know, it’s shocking. Throughout my 36 years I have made a LOT of mistakes. Some are quite small (slip on croc trainer things, you were never going to be a life win) but some, pretty hefty.
I talked all about my ‘Top Five’ huge life mistakes in my latest YouTube video and the comment section was inundated with you sharing yours. Firstly, let’s take comfort in the notion that whoever we are, where ever we live, we’ve made mistakes. Secondly, let’s have a look at how we can handle those big mistakes when they happen.
It’s worth noting that I’m not an expert (in literally anything!) so all of this is just my own personal experience but maybe it will be of some use to you.
I suppose the first port of call when handling a huge life mistake is to actually realise it’s a mistake at all. For me, this has never been instant. It’s taken a lot of time and processing to look back on something and think, ‘yep, messed that up’. Perhaps pride has gotten in the way or maybe it just didn’t feel that bad at the time. It’s not always easy to accept something is a mistake. Give yourself grace.
Once you’ve realised it’s a mistake, I always want to see what I can do to practically fix. In that moment, what action can I actually take to make this better? For example, one of my biggest life mistakes was messing up all my finances/tax/earnings. Once I knew I’d royally effed them up, the only real solution was to seek help- there was no way I could figure it out alone. Seeking help is amazing but there’s a bit of a hurdle to getting there and that’s swallowing your pride. I can’t tell you how much I despise doing this. I am the most petty pathetic woman and if I can get round something without having to swallow my pride, I will. It’s literally amazing that anyone at all likes me hahaha.
So, recognise the mess, swallow pride re mess, ask for help, fix problem.
Perhaps though, this mistake isn’t a practical one. Often affairs of the heart interweave huge life mistakes and there is nothing you can do practically in that moment. This is where the old brain comes into play. Sometimes it’s manageable to brain power yourself out of the mess. Self care, forgiving yourself, last night online shopping that you regret on arrival (just me?) taking space from the thing or person that’s causing the angst, these are all amazing ways to help. If though, you find brain power isn’t cutting the mustard (sorry but who the f**k is actually cutting mustard? Why is this a phrase please?), then there is NO shame in finding further help.
During my divorce, I went to see a counsellor. She was a calm, collected lady who listened to all the messy thoughts in my head and helped me put them into something more orderly. Once she’d done that, I could sort of see them all clearer and handle them better. She was the professional help I needed and there is a lot out there. Maybe it’s a counsellor, maybe your GP, maybe meds (prescribed by a dr), maybe different therapies.
The point I’m trying to make is, not everything is a practical solution. Sometimes the best solution is weirdly invisible but amazingly powerful, like my counselling. (Um, the counsellor herself wasn’t invisible. She was a nice woman called Jane who had a penchant for bunny rabbit art in her consultation room, but I mean the talking bit. Talking is invisible right?).
The things I have learnt (so far) about life messes are the following –
- Sometimes you have to sit in them for a while. Not fun but you come out stronger, I promise.
- Space is a great pacifier. Move away (even if just temporarily) from the problem. Easier to see the whole situation from afar.
- Time is the best healer. It’s incredible how time just melts things away.
- Anger is like a hot stone, if you hold onto it, you only burn yourself. Let it go.
Something else pretty crucial in the whole ‘mistake arena’ is apologising. I don’t think I need to go into how to do this, it’ll differ for each scenario but maybe it’s worth considering. Perhaps you need to say sorry to someone else, perhaps you need to say it to yourself. However hard it may be, you will always walk away from an apology with your head held high and that’s a good feeling.
I hope my video or this blog post has been helpful to you. This is definitely not the definitive guide to handling a mistake but hopefully has offered a bit of insight, half a pearl of wisdom at least!
Do feel free to tell me your tips, either in the comments here or message me across one of my socials – I’m @LouisePentland on everything, I’d love to hear from you! Also, if you haven’t already, please consider signing up to my newsletter, we share behind the scenes chat, exclusive news and every month there’s coffee and cake for someone! Plus, it’s FREE! Yay!
Lots of love to you,