You are Not Your Mistakes! Here’s How to Stop Dwelling on Your Mistakes

Last Update on September 24, 2021 : Published on September 24, 2021
Stop dwelling on your mistakes

You are not your mistakesAlways remember that. We have all been there and our mistakes have haunted us for years. Wouldn’t it be nice to stop worrying about something that happened in the past? There’s no way we can change what happened, all we can change is the way we look at it now.

Does it make sense? See, we are human and we ought to make mistakes. No one is perfect or perhaps being imperfect is perfect because being imperfect is being human. You didn’t make a mistake knowing that you’ll be doomed!

Most things that we do always have an honest intention behind it. The execution can be faulty and that’s how you end up with a mistake. I have made a lot of mistakes in life and so have you. Tell me honestly how many hours have you spent dwelling on your mistakes? I have spent years doing that and trust me it will do you no good.

Also read: 35+ Invaluable Lessons To Learn From The Mistakes

I understand what you must be going through. To ease your worry and anxiety about your mistakes in the past, I have something for you…

How to Stop Dwelling on Your Mistakes?

You know it in your heart that you are overthinking your mistakes. Even though you aren’t sharing your thoughts and feelings with anyone, it will still show in your behavior. And that’s not good. Feeling miserable and not being able to do anything is not good.

It’s time we stop dwelling on our mistakes and make amends. Here’s what you can do to stop the worry and anxiety you have about your mistakes. Rumination is not your friend, try these steps to avoid obsessing over you mistakes:

Step 1. Identify your triggers:

Since you have made mistakes in the past it’s natural for you to remember them time and again. If that recollection is upsetting your mind, try avoiding it. Now, it’s obvious that in your present life triggers the memory of your mistake.

So, begin with identifying those triggers. What is it that is reminding you of those days? It depends on what mistake you made. Whether it is related to finance or your relationship, anything that is related to your mistake can be your trigger.

Step 2. Distance yourself from the mistake:

You are not your mistakes and I think I have written this several times. That’s because I mean it! Make a psychological distance between you and your mistakes.

It is something that you did, realized that it was wrong and won’t repeat it again. It ends there, don’t drag it along with you. Learn to forgive yourself. Once you do that the triggers won’t trouble you as much.

Step 3. Distinguish between rumination and problem solving:

Both rumination and problem solving involve thinking about the mistake. What you have to do here is to shift from problematic overthinking to problem-solving thinking.

Rumination involves a lot of blaming and shaming and that’s what you don’t have to do. Think of it as an opportunity to learn from your mistakes. After making a mistake you at least know what you don’t have to do.

That’s one step towards progress. Now you can focus on other ways you can tackle a particular situation.

Step 4. Train your brain:

I know it’s easier said than done and that’s why we need to train our brain. It’s our brain that needs direction more than us, sometimes. Train your brain in a way that you are more self-aware.

Practicing mindfulness techniques can be really helpful in doing so. Get control over your thoughts and find a healthier way to release your stress and worry.

Step 5: Keep a check on your thoughts:

Our thoughts can go out of control easily. Therefore, keeping a check on what we think and feel is a good option. Now, I am not telling you to control what you feel. That’ll be a disaster!

Let your thoughts and feelings flow in naturally but keep looking for errors or cognitive distortions. Because if there is an error you have to correct it right? Keep a check on yourself so that there is no further damage.


Making mistakes is human! Try not to beat yourself up on that. The above-stated steps can help you in reducing the worry and anxiety you might have regarding your mistakes.

Dwelling on to your mistakes will only make things worse. You can’t do anything about the mistake, it’s in the past. But you can do something for your mental peace. Try following these steps to stop that continuous obsession.

Take my word on this, try them out and let me know in the comment section whether it helped you or not. If you see a friend or family member suffering through something similar, share this blog with them.

I hope I am able to help you stop dwelling on your mistakes through this blog.

Thanks for reading!

Take care and stay safe!

About The Author

Kirti Bhati
Kirti Bhati

I am an English literature (major) and psychology (minor) graduate from St. Bede’s College, Shimla. Postgraduate in Clinical psychology from IIS University, Jaipur. She has published a Research paper on Music therapy in the military population and Workplace stress in a national seminar conducted by Fortis hospital (gurugram) and international seminar conducted by St. Bede’s College, Shimla, Respectively. Authored a dissertation work on ‘effect of social media addiction on the mental and physical well-being in adolescents’ Currently working at calm sage as a writer.

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