You are not the worst mistake you've ever made.
When it comes to making a mistake, I can be hateful, vile, and just plain mean.
What about you?
Why are we so hard on ourselves? Why do we do it? We mess up. And maybe we royally blow it. No one is arguing that, but why do we treat ourselves worse than we'd treat our worst enemy? We're human, and for some reason, the Divine didn't program us for perfection; therefore, there are times we are going to screw things up royally.
We blow it. And instead of talking about the thing we did - we made a mistake - we view ourselves as the problem. Instead of calling it like it is, "I messed up." We say, "I'm a loser."
What an idiot.
I'm so stupid.
I'm a mistake.
I am a failure.
We give ourselves no room for mercy. We accept no imperfections or flaws. Even if we would offer someone else a second chance, we refuse it for ourselves - condemning ourselves to a sentence of self-hatred, criticism, and shame.
And for what?
Making a mistake? Being a human? Dropping the ball?
James Joyce said, “Mistakes are the portals of discovery.”
Here are ten quotes that help me recenter when I make a big mistake. I hope they help you, too.
1 - “I don’t want to die without any scars.” ~Chuck Palahniuk
2 - “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place, and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward.” ~Rocky Balboa
3 - “If you ever start taking things too seriously, just remember that we are talking monkeys on an organic spaceship flying through the universe.” ~Joe Rogan
4 - “Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” ~Lao-Tzu
5 - “All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.” ― Sophocles
6 - “Don’t be careful. You could hurt yourself.” ~Byron Katie
7 - "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." -God
8 - “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
9 - “Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it.” ― Salvador Dalí
10 - “We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.” ― Steve Maraboli
Steve Austin was a pastor when he nearly died by suicide. A second chance, a grueling recovery, and years of honest conversation allowed Steve to find healing and purpose. It’s evident in his writing, speaking, podcasting, and coaching: he helps overwhelmed people get their lives back.
Steve is also the author of the Amazon bestseller From Pastor to a Psych Ward. He lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with his wife, Lindsey, and their two children. Find him online at iamsteveaustin.com. Subscribe to Steve's free Friday newsletter - just click here!