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What have you done?

The lesson I learned…

You must have played a part in whatever went wrong. Figure it out. Find your fault.

Something didn’t go as planned.

A mistake was made.

All mistakes are avoidable.

What role did I play?

How did I contribute to things going wrong?

What could I have done differently?

How could I have avoided it?

What should I have done differently, and more importantly, why didn’t I do it?

When something didn’t go right, I jumped into “how did I mess this up?” mode.

Sometimes I did mess up; it was all on me.

It was obvious.

Then I did what I could to excuse it, but that’s a different post (see A Beautiful Mess).

Often, I had to search for that one tiny thing I could have done differently that would have changed the outcome.

I was relentless.

I wouldn’t give up until I found that thing.

And then obsess over it.

And berate me for it.

Desperately wishing for a different outcome.

Why couldn't it have gone the way it was supposed to?

Why did it have to get screwed up?

And then, eventually, I would work to convince myself of my innocence.

How messed up is that?

I’d search for my fault and then exert energy to defend myself, to myself, and anyone else who would listen.

The process was time-consuming, exhausting, and utilized far too much of my mental capacity,

but I felt compelled to complete it every time.

Overcoming the lesson…

I own my mistakes.


I don’t add to them.

I don’t figure out a way to take the blame.

I don’t search for my faults.

Sometimes things don’t go right.

Sometimes they go exactly the way they are supposed to.

Instead of blaming, I try to appreciate the new reality.

I don't waste my time wishing things had gone differently.

I accept it.

Sometimes the mistakes are perfect.

Why are all mistakes labeled “bad” anyway?

What if I played a role in an inadvertent masterpiece?

What if I had nothing to do with it,

and it worked out ideally?

What if things happened exactly as they were supposed to?

What if they didn’t?

Stuff happens.

We are not always in control.

We don't always have a hand in it.

Sometimes there's nothing we could or should have done differently.

If we could have, we would have.

Hindsight is 20/20,

foresight is not.

Something to keep in mind.

Until next time…


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