Today I went to one of my favorite places to grab a kolache (yes, I realize I might have a problem). I got my food, gave the cashier my credit card, and he swiped it…
Wait, what? Not so much, you say? What’s so incredible about paying for something one time?
Nothing, really. We do it all the time. Make a choice, pay the bill.
But that’s not really the whole story when it comes to our own mistakes. How many times during the day do you catch yourself thinking, “geez, I seriously cannot believe I did that. How could I be so dumb / naive / selfish / wasteful / blind?”
We pay for our mistakes over and over again by beating ourselves up in our minds.
In his book, The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz talks about this phenomenon. He says, “Humans are the only animals on earth who punish themselves a thousand times or more for the same mistake, and who punish everybody else a thousand times or more for the same mistake.”
It’s kind of crazy if you think about it. And holy moly is it a hard nut to crack. I find myself doing it all the time. Unfortunately, not just with myself either – I often find it really hard to let go of grudges against other people.
The Downside to Holding onto Mistakes
The downside to all this (besides it feeling like crap), is that when we hold onto the muck, we tend to self-sabotage ourselves.
Doing so tells our subconscious that we’re not good enough, so we do things like procrastinate, get overwhelmed and stressed, and fail to follow-through. And let’s not even get started on how it affects our ability to receive all the goodness that’s out there just waiting for us.
So, what to do when we set up a recurring subscription that should be a one-time sale?
Here’s are some things I like to do:
1) Ask yourself these questions: What am I really feeling? Why am I afraid to let this go?
Now before you can say, “But Jewell – I’m not afraid. I’m embarrassed / upset / frustrated / disappointed….”
Well, yes, you very well may be. AND, I can tell you with 99.99% certainty that there is a part of you that’s afraid. That’s what drives this whole process. So starting with those simple questions can help you see what’s underneath.
2) Tap tap tap!
Haha – bet you guessed this one, right? Heck yeah!
That’s because tapping is a fantastic solution to just about everything. (Ok, well it didn’t unclog my drain after my daughter dropped her plastic penguin down it, but that’s neither here nor there.) It’s great for releasing negative emotions and energy around thoughts. So tap that out! Here’s a video I made to help you get started with tapping.
3) Squeeze it Out.
What do you think of when I tell you NOT to think of a pink elephant? A pink elephant, right?
Even if you don’t want to think of something, if there’s nothing else to take it’s spot, you can’t help but focus on it. Negative thoughts are like that too.
So one way to move on is to take up your head space with more positive things, like your wins and things that make you feel grateful. It may take a little getting used to, but focusing on the positive aspects of yourself and your life helps you quit the beating-yourself-up habit.
The Most Important Thing to Remember
If you find yourself consistently beating yourself up, it can be easy to beat yourself up for THAT too. Ah, the vicious cycle….
As you’re working to turn down the volume on your mistake-reminding little voice, I invite you to take it easy on yourself. Old habits can take some time to break, so if/when you catch yourself falling into old patterns, take a deep breath, smile, and try again.