What To Do When You Screw Up (Or Were Screwed Over)


Have you ever done something you believed was wrong and can’t stop thinking about it? Or maybe you made a fool of yourself? Or maybe had someone say something to you that made you want to lash out? We play the scene over and over, imagining it happening in different ways. Ways where we say the right thing, or have a witty response, or maybe just didn’t say anything at all. Fortunately we are only looking at the situation from one perspective. If we can change perspectives we can change how we feel and we can grow.

I recently had a situation arise that has taken me a week or so to get over. I can’t get into too much detail because it does involve someone else’s life and I (no longer) wish them ill will. It took a bit, but I feel mostly over it. Changing how I saw the situation and giving it a reason for occurring is why I feel more free from it.

So, how do we change our perspective? Ask questions! It really is that simple. We have to ask new questions, not make old statements. Instead of “Man, that was so stupid!” ask “What did I need to learn?” or “Who might I have been helping when I asked that question or did that thing?” For me it came down to realizing that I was probably the best resource available to help another person gain some sort of understanding. It helped me take responsibility and learn and, hopefully, helped the other person. If they learned nothing, then the situation will repeat for them, but I removed myself from the loop. I learned and let go.

What I’m trying to say is that you shouldn’t beat yourself up over situations, because you can’t actually change what has already happened. You can, however, change what it means to you. Here are a few questions to ask yourself the next time an old situation starts to take over.

What were you supposed to learn?

Were you supposed to help someone else learn?

Why might you have been the best choice to help others learn?

Has this happened before and am I learning my lesson?

If everything happens for a reason, what is the reason for this situation?

You may have to accept that a situation has occurred, but you are in control of it’s power in your life. I let an interaction with another person take over and it brought anger, worry, guilt, stress, and exhaustion into my life. Then I took a shower (all the best ideas come in the shower, right?) and I realized that I had to give the situation a reason for happening. That way I was no longer a victim of it, but that I gained something from it.

What have you gained from “mistakes” or “problems” in your life?

I hope you found this helpful and I’d love to hear from you!

Thank you for your time.



1 thought on “What To Do When You Screw Up (Or Were Screwed Over)”

  1. Your post reminded me of a favorite quote from one of Richard Bach’s books:
    “Every person, all the events of your life, are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you.”
    Okay – maybe one more of his:
    “There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts.”


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