Mental Magic: How to Overcome Mistakes
In sports, your ability to overcome making a mistake is crucial to success. A golfer who keeps steaming over a double bogie he made increases his chances of scoring a bogie on the next hole. A tennis player who dwells on hitting an easy return ball into the net will likely have trouble returning the next serve. In sports, having a short memory is key to maintaining focus, keeping confident, and winning.
Make Negative Emotions Disappear
No matter who you are or whatever your calling in life might be, you will make mistakes. The ability to perform “mental magic,” and make a mistake with all its attached negative emotions disappear, is crucial to you having a positive, productive, fruitful life, and Christian walk.
Focus on all the positive things you’ve done.
Most of the time, we go about our lives in a confident and care-free way, not thinking much about what we normally do. When we make a mistake, it’s understandable we are tempted to dwell on it, as when we have a toothache and our tongue just won’t leave that tooth alone. It’s natural, depending on the severity of the mistake, for our confidence and ability to be slow getting back to normal.
Steps to Take
Whether you do something embarrassing in your personal life or make a poor decision at work, it’s important for you to face it, make the required adjustments, and then move on. If sin is involved, confess it, repent of it, and ask God’s forgiveness. Accept the fact that you are not perfect, a sinner, and move on.
Part of moving on is learning from our mistakes. For that reason, it is good to take time to accept responsibility for the mistake or sin, explore why it happened, and make needed
corrections. Learning from a mistake is different from ruminating on it and letting it dominate your thinking, negatively affecting your emotions.
Use Your Quiet Time
When you have quiet time, prayerfully and deliberately take what you may have learned from the mistake you made, or the sin you committed, and be proactive in making sure it doesn’t happen again, avoiding the circumstances that lead to it in the first place.
Once you’ve waved your magic mental wand and made the mistake disappear, or at least relegated it to back stage, focus on all the positive things you’ve recently done and watch your confidence reappear.
You’ll experience the freedom of mentally putting the mistake or sin behind you, and spiritually accepting the Lord’s forgiveness as you move on.
Listen to God’s Words
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, (Philippians 3:13)
Though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand. (Psalm 37:24)
Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
Also read: Micah 7:8, Romans 3:23, 2 Timothy 3:16
In the Words of Others
“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” L.M. Montgomery
“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” Mahatma Gandhi
“Forgive yourself for your faults and your mistakes and move on.” Les Brown
Think About It
Can you recall a time when you kept reliving a mistake you made or a sin you committed? How did it affect your life and confidence moving on?
If you were able to move on with restored confidence in your ability to not make the same mistake or commit the sin again, how did you do it?
When you committed an act you considered to be a significant sin, were you able to confess it, repent of it, ask God’s forgiveness, and move on from there? If not, why?