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Here Are 7 Steps to Owning Your Mistakes Like a Boss

Mistakes, we all make them. It seems like in a perfect world, you could go back and start over, erase your mistakes and throw away the guilt. Thing is, you actually can.  One of the hardest things we can do is forgive ourselves, but it’s also one of the most important (surprise, surprise). Once you realize that you are human, that we are all human, you can come back from an immense amount of pain and turn it into strength. Let go of other people’s judgment and that little self-deprecating voice in your head. You’re doing great. I know often college is a time of constantly comparing ourselves to each other. We are constantly in competition for the best grade, the best club or the best internship. When things don't work out in our favor though, don't let your mistakes hold you back from moving forward. 

Here are some ways you can begin to forgive yourself for your mistakes:

1. Recognize your mistake.

This step is fairly simple, but a lot of people easily miss this part. Recognize your role in the issue, take accountability for what your responsibility and recognize what isn’t your fault. So many of us let our pride cloud our judgment and refuse to confront conflict. But, conflict is crucial in communicating and growing in your relationships. There is no such thing as a relationship that is perfect, happy go lucky and rainbows and sunshine 24/7. You have to work to understand the person or people who are affected by your mistake.

2. Own your mistakes

Take accountability. Realize what you did wrong, and how you can fix your mistake, or avoid similar slip-ups in the future. Each of us has our own vices and weaknesses that we have to work on, but by no means does that make us lesser. Owning what you need to work on and how you’ve messed up in the past is an amazing quality. We will always mess up, but it’s our actions following that define who we are.

3. Apologize for them

Say those two simple words: I’m sorry. Often times when we are hurt, all we want is someone to take responsibility and apologize. Step up and be that person. We can’t read each other’s minds, we are all constantly fumbling and learning to be better. There is nothing demeaning or embarrassing about apologizing. In fact, I believe apologizing for shows an immense amount of good character. A person who is self-aware and can work to better their own life and the lives of others is truly the definition of being the best they can be.

4. Act on them 

If you know there’s something you can do in the present, do it. If there isn’t, then focus on being better in the future. But, if your mistakes are gnawing at you to act, chances are that’s the best option you can take at the current time. Showing that you will actively fix things, and own your mistake shows respect and care for whomever you hurt. Acting will also allow you to find a peace within yourself and will help build back up your self-confidence.

5. Give it time

This is undoubtedly the most frustrating step for both parties involved. But you can’t skip this step. Give yourself time to forgive yourself and allow those you hurt to recover. Be patient. Don’t give up on yourself, and don’t give up on making amends just because the other person is shutting you out. We all need our time to process, understand and react. Take time to care for yourself, but don’t give up.

6. Listen

Listen to what the other person says and feels and listen to how you’re feeling. Realize nothing is black and white, every situation is unique to the people involved. Sometimes it takes talking to the people closest to us -- who know us best -- to ground us and remind of us of who we are. I know I would be nowhere without my boyfriend and best friend’s constant love and support. Always trust your intuition, and trust that you are not your mistakes.

7. Forgive

Accept forgiveness, and make sure to forgive yourself. Forgiveness doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s always worth it. Forgiving yourself will allow you to feel at peace, and you’ll able to move on to a successful and fulfilling life.  Forgiveness is hard. There’s no doubt about that. Often, we hold onto our baggage longer than we should, sometimes even for years. No mistake is worth sacrificing your happiness for. Our relationships are key to our happiness, and we should do everything we can to hold onto them as long as they are benefiting us. Let the toxic go and come to peace with yourself. Sometimes we can’t get forgiveness from other people, they are either gone or estranged. That’s okay, what matters most is that you forgive yourself.

Be your biggest advocate, put your health and your worth first. Don’t ever give up on yourself just because you’ve made some mistakes. See every bump in the road as another opportunity to grow.

Julia Mitchem is a University of Florida senior majoring in journalism and minoring in Spanish. She is currently the CC for Her Campus at UFL. She believes in empathy and inclusivity, and she works to empower women in everything she does.
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