How can I give myself grace for the mistakes I have made and remain positive, rather than get depressed, angry, and anxious?

11 Answers
Last Updated: 10/31/2017 at 1:19am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Shawndean Hutchison, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

My work with clients seeks to help them create a life that feel is worth living rather than just surviving. I help people manage problems and reduce stress.

Top Rated Answers
October 31st, 2017 1:19am
It's easier to focus on our mistakes rather than our accomplishmetns. Especially when we have depression, the bar for what qualifies as an accomplishment is almost impossibly high, and the bar for what qualifies as a dire mistake is very low. Being aware of how our depression skews these scales, trying to acknowledge what we did do or what did right vs what we didn't do, and trying to be kinder to ourselves when we're disappointed can help you with your positivity over time. Life is suffering, but it is also beautiful. You attempted to do the thing you made a mistake with - that attempt is amazing, even if it didn't work out! Go you! When we have depression, a lot of things we take for granted count as accomplishments because it is so much harder for us to pursue them - things like, even thinking about doing something, getting out of bed, putting on clothes, taking showers, walking around, looking out of a window, posting a question on 7cups, surviving to struggle for another day, these are all amazing things that we can celebrate in ourselves. Depression definitely wants to spit on these things and tell us they aren't valuable enough, and it wants us to focus on anything negative it can find, blowing mistakes and human errors way out of proportion and make us feel awful for existing. We cannot be perfect. We are human. We are beautifully chaotic. We can do this. We have to be patient with ourselves and try to reward ourselves for any little thing we can think of. When we catch ourselves thinking something like, "I should have done that better" - instead we can try thinking, "That was a skewed though. I guess I tried and that counts for something, even if it wasn't done as well as I would have liked." It's not about being positive vs being negative, it's about finding that realistic middle ground; often there is a duality to many things. Trying to reduce how much we judge ourselves by preventing comparisons, not telling ourselves 'I should' &c, and just allowing ourselves to recover at our own pace can help this process for some people. Another method some people use is trying to divert their thoughts to something mildly amusing that happened recently. There are many ways people deal with negative thoughts, and asking 'how' is a brilliant way to get started on that path. GREAT JOB! You're amazing!
January 26th, 2015 10:56pm
Self forgiveness is the most important thing I have ever learned. When I find myself beating myself up, I often will write down the things I am doing well and find that to be helpful.
February 17th, 2015 11:36pm
The past is the past and should stay in the past. Not every mistake you have made defines you and you should know that a mistake is a lesson. Forgive yourself.
May 5th, 2015 9:17am
We all make mistakes. It is part of being human. Being human means coming up against a wide variety of difficult experiences and learning from them and in this way becoming better human beings. We can cannot change the past, but we can learn from it and do better in the future. And here lies the answer to the question, it´s a matter of focus: instead of becoming depressed, angry and anxious about something we cannot change, focus on the future with our new understanding and experience and work on making that brighter.
May 6th, 2015 3:22am
That is a very good question. You can by understanding that everyone makes mistakes, big or small. and that we only learn from mistakes and messing up, we can't learn unless we fail and fall. So your in the right grounds to grow and learn, allow yourself to do so.
May 8th, 2015 8:54pm
Because we as humans make mistakes. Its part of life. That way it helps you learn so you can better yourself. It is going to cause you so many emotions but just breath. Take it day by day. Life is endless you have every day to wake up to a new beginning.
October 26th, 2015 3:32pm
Accept that mistakes are part of the growing process. I try not to consider them mistakes... rather I try to learn from these experiences.
December 7th, 2015 5:51am
Give yourself credit for all that you're learning! You're not making mistakes, you're gaining experience points!
April 5th, 2016 1:43am
You have to come to accept your mistakes and move on for what was in the past and keep a smile on your face!
December 13th, 2016 7:04pm
That's a hard one... giving yourself grace or forgiveness isn't easy. I personally have made some dumb choices in the past and everyday I try to 'redeem' myself by helping others; from non-profit work to counseling. My advice would be to look at the situation and compare everything you did, and everything you could've done. Look at in a "What else could I have done?" and from now on make the better choices. Forgiving yourself comes with time but every right choice you make slowly makes it hurt less.
December 26th, 2016 7:23am
I read somewhere "I am happiest when I accept how complicated I am." Mistakes are part of who we are. We will respond from places of fear and insecurity sometimes and we will sometimes wrongly evaluate a situation. Allow yourself grace. Learn from the mistake and move beyond it. The past is not a place you owe.