Are you still bothered by mistakes you made a long time ago?
That’s the question I recently asked my followers. Surprisingly 70% said YES. They still think about old mistakes.
It doesn’t have to be like that
When we make a mistake the normal reaction is to feel disappointed and sometimes even sad. We might feel regret over something we did – especially if we hurt somebody else – and feel the need to make things right again.
It’s also totally normal to feel a little bit down for some time, when things doesn’t go as we planned.
But when we find ourselves thinking about what happened, or what should or could have happened, a long time after – it might actually be a problem.
Sometimes we get stuck and caught up in this kind of thinking. Thinking about our mistakes over and over again.
Why we do it
We subconsciously do it because we have a feeling that if we just think about our mistakes enough, we might be able to solve them. But in reality this kind of thinking just keep us stuck and keeps dragging us further and further down a self-destructive spiral.
We will almost never be able to solve our problems this way.
If you want to brake this habit and do something more constructive, you actually can! Let me show you how.
How to stop doing it
The first thing you need to do is to figure out what your individual theme is about, because there is almost always a theme. It can be separation, health, money or just about anything, but if you think about it there’s probably something that often works as a trigger for you and set off this kind of negative inner chatter.
Thats’s the first step – to figure out the theme.
The second step is to ask yourself if your habit of (over)thinking about the mistakes or problems have helped you so far or not. Probably not, right?
Once you know the theme and that overthinking mistakes like this doesn’t help you, you might be able to stop yourself next time. You will be able to recognise it as soon as it starts.
3 tips that will help you along the way
I’m going to give you 3 tips that I learned through CBT, cognitive behavioural therapy, that did wonders for me and that I hope will help you as well.
- If needed set aside scheduled time (maybe once a week) when you think about and try to solve your problems. Make sure that the problems you address actually are solvable.
- When you find yourself thinking about a problem or mistake, set a time limit for yourself. If you’ve been over the same thing several times and been trying to solve it for more than 15 minutes, there’s probably not a solution – at least not now. Then you should give yourself permission to either let it go or reschedule it to the next time you’ve decided to work on your problems.
- Ask yourself: If I listen to my thoughts right now, are they leading me towards or away from the things i truly value? Do I have a choice right now? What do I choose? (If you choose to think about your problem after that, then at least it’s an active choice, not just a destructive unconscious habit).
Shine on! With love,