The fastest way to get past one mistake is to make another one. The reality is that the most successful people make more mistakes than less successful people. They make more mistakes because they try to succeed more often than other people.
I can’t remember all the mistakes I’ve made. But I do remember most of the lessons I’ve learned from them. Someone will ask me for advice and I’ll try to provide the best advice I can. When they ask me how I know something many times my answer is “I don’t know how I know, I just know.” What I do know is that the knowledge I shared likely came from a mistake I’ve made in the past.
Early in my life one of my first mentors told me to forget my mistakes but to never let go of the lessons that came with them. He said if I made enough mistakes I’d be able to disassociate the mistake from the lesson. Apparently I’ve made more than enough mistakes.
Early on most of my mistakes were pretty stupid mistakes. I could have avoided them if I had been more aware of the people around me. If I had paid more attention to their mistakes I could have learned from them instead of having to recreate the mistake myself.
Today my mistakes are much more calculated. I’m not all that smart but I’m smart enough to know that I could be wrong about most anything. I try to prove I’m wrong about something before I’ll accept that I’m right. It’s not that I doubt my ability to be right, it’s more that I also don’t doubt my ability to be wrong.
I get asked for advice often and I want to be absolutely sure that my advice is not based on a hunch or some biased opinion I may hold.
It takes practice to forget the mistake and not the lesson that goes with it. First you have to realize that somewhere within every mistake there is a lesson. Don’t forget the mistake until you’ve learned the lesson. Once you have the lesson secure in your mind remembering the mistake serves no purpose, so let it go.
When you remember the lesson and not the mistake that’s when the mistake has truly been overcome. When you practice this philosophy there are very few mistakes you can’t get past.
Or, you can torment yourself over mistakes that happened long ago, even after most everyone else has likely forgotten them. The choice of forgetting is yours to make.
Oh, one more thing. Sometimes you’ll make a mistake that requires forgiveness too. In those cases one of the most difficult people to get forgiveness from is yourself. It’s pretty tough to forget a mistake you can’t forgive yourself for. So try to keep in mind that you’re human and humans make mistakes.
Even if other people can’t forgive you God already has. Follow His example and you’ll be just fine.