You Gain Nothing By Beating Yourself Up
Imagine these two different scenarios:
In the first you totally screw up doing something, you made the wrong decisions and now the whole event has gone south on you.
In response you shut down, lick your wounds and leave the whole mess for somebody else to deal with.
You may have experienced this as a child. You may have been constantly punished for screwing up, or at least severely criticized. At that point all you wanted to do was get the heck out of there.
In the second scenario you also screw up. And again it’s a mess, you wonder how you’ll ever recover from it.
But in this second scenario you don’t shut down. You don’t give up. You don’t lick your wounds and, feeling sorry for yourself or angry with yourself, walk away.
In this scenario you pause for a moment and gather your thoughts. You assess what is going on and what is actually happening. You see the situation for what it is.
And then you start correcting the issues.
You may not see the successful end result yet. Maybe you can. But at least you’re moving towards a solution.
After a little fixing this, tweaking that, and a whole lot of finessing, you have overcome the issue. You have salvaged what you could and got the whole thing back on track.
What’s The Big Difference?
What’s the difference between these two scenarios?
Yes, in one you stop, shut down and walk away. In the other you don’t let the problem stop you. You work through the issue and solve the problem, if not in whole at least in part.
The real difference in these two scenarios is you.
The Difference Is You
It’s all too easy to become angry, to blame someone and leave the mess as-is. It’s especially easy to slip into blaming yourself, feeling completely inadequate (hence shutting down), and run away.
You gain nothing, zero, zip, nada, by beating yourself up and walking away. Why punish yourself because you made a mistake, and you erred?
Do you feel the need to spank yourself like the parent correcting the child? You’re a lot older, smarter and more emotionally sound than you were at that younger age. You’re an adult now.
Even if you have royally messed up – if you are able to do a little problem solving, implement some sort of a plan and then see it through – you will be successful.
To some degree you will have fixed the mess, even if only partially. And something is always better than nothing.
Sure it’s okay to feel a little anger with yourself after you’ve made a huge mistake. That’s what drives us to action.
But to dwell on those feelings of anger, on the feelings of inadequacy or self-doubt does you no good. It’s like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer because you messed up. Did that help you overcome the problem? Did that show you a solution?
Let It Go.
You need to let any guilt over it or self-condemnation go. Let it go! Regardless of how terrible the error is, the first step to recovering from the mess is to acknowledge it.
Not to try and place blame. But to acknowledge the circumstances and the event. When you can see the event for what it is, you can begin to formulate a solution.
By placing blame, especially on yourself, you force yourself to harbor on the negative. This blocks any positive solutions from springing forth. You can’t think a negative and a positive thought at the same time.
See the mess as what it truly is – an event with unfavorable circumstances or results. Now take that event and create positive circumstances, a positive outcome.
A Skill You Can Learn And Master
At first this may seem difficult for you. Especially if you have never been allowed to correct, or finish a bad circumstance or event. If you have been scolded or admonished for every little mistake you have made.
But in time, working through negative situations one by one, you build up those problem solving muscles. You see success, and can build upon and mimic that.
That leads to more confidence, and the ability to overcome even more problems.
You are never too old to gain these skills, regardless of how rough your life may have been in the past.
But remember, one thing is for certain, you gain nothing by beating yourself up!