Why We Continue to Make the Same Mistakes

When you look at your life as I do mine,  you will undoubtedly notice mistakes. Often these mistakes resemble one another. As human beings we have a tendency to make the same mistakes over and over again. There are some very good reasons why we repeat our mistakes. Below are a few of them.

#1-Bad Habits

We have all heard it before but it is worth saying again. If you want a different result you have to do something different. Many mistakes; poor decisions; or poor outcomes are the result of our own actions or inaction. Actions or inaction that is habitual.

We often repeat mistakes because we have habits that help us to maintain the status quo even if we want to change. This is why it is difficult for people to change even when they want to change.

#2- We Don’t Own It

There are of course bad things that happen to us and there are some true mistakes or accidents. However, most of what we think of as mistakes are choices that we have made. Choices that we don’t want to own, so we call it a mistake. We chose not to take responsibility…not to own it.

When we don’t own our mistakes, we cannot change them.

#3- Our Beliefs Betray Us

It doesn’t matter what you say you believe. When it comes to altering the course of your life and your outcomes it is what you truly believe instinctively at your core that matter most.

If you believe that you are incapable or unworthy, then your life in many ways will reflect that belief. Whether it is publicly known or privately held what you believe in your heart of hearts will be reflected in your experiences. Even if your experiences are amazing. Your core beliefs will tell you it wasn’t enough.

How to Get Out of Your Own Way

  1. Do something different. Repeatedly and consistently do something different. Do the same something different until you experience different results. Don’t say to yourself “this doesn’t work” when you know you haven’t even tried. Whatever category or type of mistakes you make, someone has mastered it. Go and learn from what others have provided. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. But you do have to form new habits to replace the ones that got you the same results/mistakes.
  2. Take responsibility. We often want to blame others when things don’t go the way that we wanted for them to go. We blame others for our pain or our embarrassment that result from our decisions (or mistakes). We want to distance ourselves from the truth. The truth that we knew x, y or z was a bad idea and we went against our better judgement. When you take responsibility you can access feeling empowered. When you are empowered you have no time to seek blame, only time to seek a path forward.
  3. Be honest. It is vital that you are honest with yourself and others as much as possible. I don’t mean the type of honesty that has no regard for others feelings. I mean the type of honesty that keeps you from agreeing to things that are not agreeable for you. What you really believe will impact all of your agreements with yourself and others. If, for example you believe you are unlovable…no matter who loves you and how much you won’t be able to feel it. You will make the mistake of not believing what is true when it is abundantly clear. If you get honest with yourself and your take responsibility and cultivate new habits, you will experience new results with out question. You will begin to believe in yourself and your ability to overcome obstacles that led to the same results, mistakes, or poor decisions that you experience over and over again.

Lessons in Truth

I want to elaborate on the importance of being honest with oneself and others by pointing to the wise words of Elizabeth Cady Stanton a social activist, abolitionist and women’s rights leader.

“Truth is the only safe ground to stand upon. 

The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls.”

I am not saying that when you are honest and truthful that you will never feel hurt, pain or disappointment. In fact, these are important elements of life that can never be done away with nor should we seek to do away with our pain which in actuality gives life much of its meaning.

Instead, I am suggesting that when we are honest and stand in what is true…we can be proud in affirming ourselves; thereby reducing shame; and will be far less impacted by the disapproval of others. We will be able to own our mistakes, address our poor habits; and shine light on the path before us.

Copyright © 2017 Ruby Blow. All rights reserved.

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