Let Go Of Your Mistakes
Dwelling on your mistakes is a bad habit that is all too easy to fall into. Actually it’s proof that you really wanted to do a good job, which is admirable, but you’re only hurting yourself by continuing to ruminate on them instead of leaving them in the past where they belong. If you hold on to your mistakes they are sure to compound the problem, forcing you to make more of them.
This is something people who perform challenging activities in front of others know all too well. The ones who rise to the top of their respective disciplines pretty much all share a common trait, call it selective amnesia, where they mess up but just keep right on going like it didn’t happen, refusing to let the rest of their performance suffer. You’ve got to learn to let go of your mistakes as quickly as you can when they invariably occur.
Difficult activities require concentration, and concentration implies being completely focused in the moment on what it is you are doing. When you dwell on a mistake you are suctioning off some of that attention, giving yourself less cognitive space for the task at hand, increasing the likelihood of further mistakes.
The paradox then is that if you want to be successful at your endeavors you have to try as hard as you can to not make any mistakes yet simultaneously not care at all when you do make them, noting that you have done something wrong and then letting go so that you can refocus all your attention on your task. Not only will your projects benefit but you will benefit too because you’ll be a lot happier when you’re not constantly down on yourself for something you did that you no longer have any ability to change.