Exercise: Prevent Repeated Mistakes

by Rachel Miller

November 1, 2022

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Sometimes all it takes is a millisecond of distraction for something hugely consequential to happen. Isn’t it frustrating when you do something and then immediately wonder: What just happened? Why did I do that? How did that happen…again?

You may not be able to prevent all the mistakes, but here is something I’ve found helpful to prevent many of those same regretted situations from re-occurring as often.

Try this:

  • First, resist the urge to feel guilty. So, this thing happened. OK. Yes, it’s frustrating, and yes, it’s not ideal, but being hard on yourself will only prevent you from solving this problem and moving forward to a solution.

  • Give yourself time. Allow your emotions to settle, then when you are feeling calm, consider: What are the facts?

  • Write down everything you were experiencing and feeling leading up to what happened:
    • Were you hungry? Were you feeling stressed, irritable?
    • Were you rushing, moving quickly, impulsively?
    • Did you suddenly deviate from your usual routine or intended plan?

  • Study the details of how you were feeling prior to what happened.
    • Notice any patterns from past similar situations:
      • Were you hungry? Tired?
      • Were you in pain? Discomfort?
    • Make note of these for future reference.

  • Next time you experience a similar circumstance or feeling, use this as your signal to slow down and take extra caution in what you say and do. Get good at recognizing the earliest signals, so you can prevent a regretted situation from happening.

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