One of the children I work with has a sticker chart for good behavior. This week she had a full week of stickers, but lost one due to inappropriate behavior. She then proceeded to panic and lash out, as her caretaker was saying “Hey, it’s okay! It’s just a hiccup!”
I am like that kid when it comes to “hiccups”, or making those little mistakes we make and think, especially when all is going well. I tend to panic and become overly discouraged. In my mind, they tend to overshadow the progress I’ve been making and drag me down, making things worse and sometimes snowballing into worse mistakes. Rarely, if ever, do I have the patience and humility to come outright and say “It’s okay, it’s just a hiccup – this does not reflect who I am, or who I am becoming.” This, combined with my sensitivity of my perception of what other people think of me (also not a good thing) will effectively drag me down if I let it.
Here’s some good advice: Don’t give in to discouragement. Ever.
Don’t let yourself become discouraged when you make mistakes or when others put you down. Don’t give in to guilt. Guilt is a great indicator of our consciousness that we’ve done something wrong, and that we need to fix the way we are thinking and/or some of our actions. Terrific – after all, you need to be a good person to save the world. So once you’ve made the necessary corrections, you should resume your life and leave everything else behind. Don’t revisit the pain, don’t linger in the negativity, don’t take time or energy away from saving the world just because you made a mistake.
You aren’t perfect. But that doesn’t mean you should try your very best to do something good, for yourself and for the world. That doesn’t mean you’re don’t have incredibly valuable talents and qualities. It doesn’t mean that you’re incapable of producing something that is worthwhile. Here’s a hint: if everyday you wake up with the intention of being someone better than you were yesterday, and you proceed to do something GOOD (no matter how small) then you’re already on the right track. It doesn’t need to be spectacular or perfect. It just needs to be there.
The world doesn’t take time off. Neither should you. There is no time to linger in your past mistakes – only time to make better decisions.