How to Bounce Back When You've Screwed Up


 by Tiffany Walking Eagle | 2-minute read

Are you perfect? If so, then there's no need to read this, because you're pretty unfamiliar with what screwing up feels like...but if you're human like the rest of us, you make the occasional mistake where you're instantly horrified and left thinking did that really just happen?!  Well, friend, if you've screwed up, don't worry; your life isn't over. Whether you made a mistake at work, made a blunder with your finances, or hurt a friend or your dear SO, here's a few ways to rectify the situation when you've screwed up.

Don't freak out!

Okay, you messed up, and your first reflex is to panic. But really, how much will that help you? Instead of having a major meltdown, (though we've all been there) try to think of ways you can fix the problem. Take a few deep breaths. If it helps, call someone you love and share what's happened to gain an outside perspective.  

Be humble enough to sincerely apologize. 

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If you've hurt anyone aside from yourself in your blunder, don't make excuses or start listing off reasons why it happened. Lay down your pride and be humble enough to offer a genuine apology to the person(s) you inconvenienced or hurt with your actions (or lack thereof). A heartfelt apology will make that person far more likely to forgive you so you can both move forward. 

Follow the 5-minute, 5-year rule. 

Have a big-picture perspective. If something you've done won't affect your life in 5 years, don't spend more than 5 minutes stressing about it. Instead of wasting precious time worrying about something that you can't change now, use that time to plan to do better. 

Make a strategy. 

Don't stew and stew over the details of your mess-up, but do think about a few things you could have done differently and think of ways you can do better next time. Write things down if you like, or just reflect on steps you can take to avoid screwing up in the future. 

Forgive yourself, don't beat yourself up, & move on.

Beating yourself up really won't help you and can lead to feelings of self-pity, which really don't lead anywhere good. Sometimes making mistakes is one of the most effective ways to learn! Instead of moping, take advantage of the learning experience that failure always offers, and work to forgive yourself. 

 What do you do when you've screwed up? Let me know in the comments. :)

Tiffany Walking Eagle