What if I messed up?

What do you do when you feel like you have messed things up?

Right now, as I sit in front of my computer to write, I still feel the gnawing feeling of disappointment as a result of my failure in submitting a required application by the deadline date.

In fact, that’s why I was driven to write this blog. It’s been at least eight weeks, and I still question myself on how I allowed the mistake to have happened. I blamed it on my hectic schedule at the time, on the ambiguity of the details in the application details. I also sneakily tried to blame my kids for it. It would be easier if I had another chance, but this is it?

If it were a one-off occurrence or something unimportant, perhaps it might not have bothered me as much. But this is mega important, plus I have made a few of these blunders lately. 

In my sad state, I wondered how many were feeling like I was. I also wondered how many others were feeling disappointed in themselves for something they had done or failed to do in 2018. 

It’s December, the last Sunday of the year, and some of the goals that I’d set in January 2018 are no more than a scribble on a piece of paper pinned to my “To – Do” Board – as if that’s all that’s needed to get them done.

I am not unrealistic or ungrateful, or so I think anyway, as there are many things I should be grateful for and a few goals that have been achieved already. However, I still feel that there are many inches of opportunities that have added up to miles that I think have lost in the year. 

It is in this state of frustration that I begin to ask myself if ruminating over the issue will bring any solution, or if there is still something I can do to salvage some of the situations I find myself in.

Realistically, I can’t undo some of the situations, but I can learn from my mistakes and take some active steps to avoid the situation spiralling into deep-seated feelings of failure and regret. I want to share some of these steps with you in case maybe you are feeling defeated about some mistakes you’ve made or about something you wished you had done. Hopefully, we can move on in this journey together.

Here are seven steps that I am thinking of taking in 2019:

1. According to Trevor Noah, it is the inches we give up that translates to the miles that we lose. Therefore it’s crucial for me to seize the moment and avoid every form of distraction and procrastination.

2. There’s no point looking back to the past unless I am using it to chart a better path for my future. The past cannot be changed once a deed is done. As such, it’s best to look for opportunities in the present and take advantage of them. There’s always another day and another chance even if it’s different from the one lost.

3. There’s only so much that one can do at a time. Therefore it’s important to pace oneself, create some margin in the diary and effectively manage a brought forward system that can remind one of pressing dates and tasks.

4. No one gets told off for arriving too early unless that person is seeing a therapist (generally therapists don’t like their clients meeting other clients – think of sex in the city movie), and no one I think, gets told off for completing a task too quickly if it’s done well. So I am going to aim to complete tasks as early as possible, arrive promptly to meetings even if it means passing the time by reading a book or having some thinking time.

5. I will take some me-time regularly to reflect, relax and re-charge my batteries. When the body and mind are overstretched, there’s the tendency to forget things and make mistakes. So apologies in advance if it means I won’t be as available as I used to be.

6. “I am going to be thinking about what I need to be thinking about”. I use this strapline for my son quite regularly, and I ought to borrow it now for myself. What it means is that I will ensure that I prioritise my priorities rather than getting them muddled up in an unending list of other mundane things.

7. I am going to ask God for help and ask that the Holy Spirit helps me in my daily life. I could do with some reminders from Him and for strength. 

What about you?