Archive for May, 2014

“Oops, I Screwed Up! Now What?”

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Ever made a mistake?  Of course you have.  As you reflect on the mistakes of your life, what regrets might you have?  Any particular area of your life where you regret a decision made – a mistake?

The following are areas where most people say they have regrets about choices made in their lives.  Take a gander and see if any of these fit your choices: Career, Community, Education, Family, Friends, Finances, Health, Leisure, Parenting, Romance, Self, Spirituality.  Finish the sentence: “I wish I had chosen to _________________ rather than what I did.”

Upon doing this you should have a better sense of the varied dimensions of life choices and the particular ones that you made.  Are there some regrets here? In what areas particularly?

Everyone has some regrets – some “oops” moments (or days or years!) that were easily corrected or had life long disappointing consequences.  However, recognizing mistakes can make you smarter and help you move forward more positively – depending on your brain reaction to the mistake.

There are two typical brain responses to mistakes.  One is a “wake up call” response.  The brain hones in on the negative outcome and treats it like a problem that needs solving. What has happened, and why?  The brain increases its attention during the next decision as if it is trying to prevent a repeat of the mistake.  When this happens a person is more likely to improve performance.

Some people, however, have brains that “shut down”. The brain reacts to the mistake by seeing it as a threat.  To escape from the bad feeling, or doubting one’s abilities, the brain chooses to not think about the mistake.  Therefore performance does not improve – no learning from the mistake.

In my practice, and research confirms this, I find that “successful” people learn from their mistakes and improve.  Those people are confident that they can make things better.  The challenge I face in working with people who are “screwing up” their lives is to help them “get it” that mistakes are being made and that they can learn better ways. Some people are more open than others, to be sure.

Bottom line, Respected Reader, are you a person who is aware of mistakes made in your life? Are you, then, a person who commits to remedying these mistakes, if possible, or at least not repeating them? What “mistakes” are you currently making?  Are you ready to deal with them? If so, how”

Enough questions, ball is in your court!  Please don’t drop it!

“The unexamined life is not worth living”    Socrates