Saturday, 23 May 2015

Becoming Your Own Hero | Part 5: Mistakes, Forgiveness & Moving On
I, like every other human being on this planet, have made a lot of mistakes and will make a lot of mistakes.  It's just the way that we're wired, we'll have a lot of both minor and major hiccups in our life.  We'll look back on mistakes that we've made and cringe.  But sometimes we make mistakes that are so huge that years later we're still struggling to move on from them.
I am currently trying to move on from one of these mammoth mistakes, one that I made at the end of 2013, yes it was over a year ago.  I posted a really big, stupid selfish post on Twitter (there were a few before this one that I had posted and I regret them just as much) and I still hate myself for doing it and how much it hurt the people that care about me.
The person that I was back then is most definitely not who I am anymore.  But the evidence of that person being who I once was is forever on the internet archives and I'm sure could be found if looked for hard enough. 
Last year I decided I needed a clean slate and had to move on from the horribly selfish, self centred person that wrote those posts, because I never want to be that person again.   The people that I hurt through this have forgiven me, however I'm still struggling with this.
I know that in order to move on from this mistake, put it in the past completely and to stop letting it have a negative influence on my future, I need to forgive myself.  And I think this is slightly crazy.
But at the same time it sort of makes sense.  When we make mistakes that affect other people, the way that it's almost always resolved is that they find a way to forgive us, let go and then move forward.  So surely we should treat ourselves the same way in these situations.
Tonight Alive // The Other Side
At the time of writing that post I was angry, confused and upset.  This caused me to be really attention seeking and selfish and I realise that now looking back on it all.
That's another thing, when we make mistakes we don't always realise that they're mistakes, or we do and just think we'll get away with them.  But we'll look back on these things and mentally kick ourselves for not realising how plain old stupid we were.
And although we feel like this and we never want to think about what we done ever again, we have too because we need to learn from our mistakes before we can move on from them.
And sometimes, as I'm learning now, we'll have to do this numerous times before we can finally move on.
Some things that might help if you've made a mistake:
1.  Admit you've made a mistake.  Own up to what you've done and the sooner the better.  Even if you know there's going to be horrible consequences you should still admit that you've done wrong, looking back on it you'll be glad you've done this.
2.  Apologise.  If you've hurt someone (including yourself) through making a mistake then let them know that you're sorry but also let them know that you want to make it up to them, and that you'll do everything you can to not make that mistake again.
3.  See what you can learn from your mistake.  This is probably the only good thing about making mistakes, both big and small.  We can learn from the horrible mess that we make.  This isn't always easy and can take a really long time, but in the long run it's worth it.
Look back on what you done, see where you went wrong and most importantly see what you can learn from that.  Sometimes it helps to get someone to do this with you, having someone else's point of view can be really helpful, and that way you might both be able to learn something. 
If you don't learn from your mistake then you'll probably end up doing something similar in the future and won't be able to improve as a person.
4. Forgiveness and realisation.  This is the part which I think sounds kind of weird and a little selfish but, will probably help in the long run.
Don't be too hard on yourself.  Yes, you've made a mistake and you really shouldn't have done that thing but, we can't change that it's happened.  Unfortunately the TARDIS only exists in Doctor Who so we can't go into our past and undo all our mistakes.  And this is something that we seriously need to realise.  What's done is done.
Yes, we can try and right the wrong but it will always be something that happened.  This is pretty annoying because (like with the really selfish thing I done) a lot of the time the person that we were
when we made that mistake isn't who we are anymore and we hate ourselves for making that mistake.
But instead of dwelling on the mistake, we need to forgive ourselves because if we don't then we won't be able to move on. 
And we also need to realise that we're all human, there are over 7 billion people on this planet who will all have made mistakes and we're all still to make mistakes.  Everyone, even celebrities and those people we know from school or work who seem to have everything worked out, make mistakes and have done things they're not proud of.
None of us are alone when it comes to the selfish mistakes department, after all we're only human.  But the main thing is that we realise this and try to free ourselves of that horrible guilt that fills us when we think of our mistakes.
Tonight Alive // Hell & Back
5.  Moving on.  Like learning from your mistake, moving on from it can take quite a long time as well. 
It's extremely important to learn from our mistakes but it's also important not to dwell on them.  This can have a negative effect on both ourselves and the people around us.  Accept that you done wrong and try to move on from there.
If you spend all your time beating yourself up for the mistake you made, then you probably won't be able to learn from it and move on to be a better person.
Try to move on from the mistake that you made so that the mistake you made doesn't have a negative impact on your future.
All Time Low // Old Scars/Future Hearts
Obviously these things will vary based on the situation and everyone deals with things differently.  But I think that dealing with mistakes that we've made can help us to become better people and become more confident in the knowledge that we've learnt from the bad things that we've done.
Unfortunately, it's impossible to go through life mistake free, but hopefully we can all try to learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others.   And hopefully learning from our mistakes will help us to be more confident in ourselves and the trust that we put in others.
This post is part of my Becoming Your Own Hero series about self confidence.  You can read all the previous posts from this series by clicking here.  And I would just like to say a really huge thank you for all of the encouraging comments I received on my previous post in this series, I appreciate them a lot.
I've since met up with a friend I hadn't seen since I left high school (just over a year ago) and it was really lovely and we're hopefully going to see each other again soon.  We also talked about how I've been feeling about friendships recently and it was really helpful, I had a really nice time with her.
Let me know in the comments what you thought of this post, I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions on making mistakes.
Also, if people would find a post about the mistakes that other people make and what I think about that topic then please let me know in the comments.