Past mistakes can weigh on a person in recovery and can make you lose hope in your ability to overcome your addiction. You may begin to feel like you’ve always made mistakes, and you always will. But the reality is everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes we make mistakes because we don't have all the information we need, because we're taking shortcuts, or because we don't have the skills needed for a specific activity or goal. Rather than viewing mistakes as signs that we are insufficient in some way as a person, mistakes should be viewed as opportunities to learn something new and improve our situation.
Listen to Others’ Advice
We can gain new life direction and pearls of wisdom from others as we try to repair and overcome mistakes. Those who have had experiences similar to ours, those who have helped others in our same situation, and those who love us can all be trusted resources for ideas about how we can do better. Rather than resenting the advice of others and assuming that they’re criticizing you, try to listen to what they’re saying with an open mind. Understand that others are trying to help, and that they may very well be capable of doing so.
Let Go and Move On
Beating yourself up about mistakes you've made won't do anything to help fix them, and it will only slow your progress. When you’re in recovery, you need as much confidence and encouragement as you can get, even from yourself. Turn off the voice in your head telling you you’ll never get things right. Put your mistake behind you, and move on with a positive attitude. After all, it’s up to you whether you’ll make the same mistake again or not, and letting go of mistakes is one way to keep them from cropping up again.
Consider the Possibilities
After you make a mistake (or a whole bunch of them), it’s easy to look back on the damage that has been done and feel despair. We’ve all done things we’re not proud of, but dwelling on something that’s already been done will not make it go away, it will only magnify the problem and invade the other areas of your life.
When you’ve made a mistake, it’s better to look forward and concentrate on where you want to go from here. Ask yourself what you have learned from your mistakes that can help you to be a better person. While some opportunities may have closed to you because of mistakes, others will open up. Ask yourself what opportunities are available to you now, and what action you need to take to seize them.