10 Easy Ways How To Stop Beating Yourself Up Over Mistakes

If you are feeling down, frustrated and wanted to beat yourself up over the mistakes or failures you made in life, it is a very normal reaction. We are human beings, and human tends to be emotional. However, that doesn’t mean that you can grieve over the mistakes and failures you have made in life. Instead, learn to control your emotion.

Life isn’t full of sunshine all the time. It will rain and sometimes there will be a storm. The key is not to make the rain goes away; the key is to learn how to dance in the rain.

We certainly cannot change the weather or stop the rain. However, we can choose our responses and react in a positive way to help us proceed and move forward in life.

The same principle applies when you face challenges, difficulties or when you made mistakes and failures in life. Learn to control your emotions and feelings.

We are not God, and we cannot predict what will happen in the future. Sometimes, bad things will just happen, and I believe everything happened for a reason.

“Every adversity, every failure, and every heartache carries with it the Seed of an equivalent or greater Benefit.” – Napoleon Hill

Learn to manage your emotion and your feelings. Be the one who takes charge of your life instead of letting life wanders and take you where it is.

Here are easy ways how to stop beating yourself up over your mistakes. For explanation of each point, kindly read the full article below.


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1. Understand You Can’t Change the Past

Nothing can change if you don’t chance your responses. You have to understand that you cannot change the past. Whatever has passed, has gone.

You have to accept the truth and the fact that things have happened and there is nothing you can do about it.

All you can do is to choose to focus on the present. If you have watched Kung Fu Panda, Master Oogway has a great quote, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why they called it the present.”

The only moment you can control is this very moment. You can choose to continue to read on or to stop. You can choose to continue to grieve or to move forward.

The choice is in your hand. What will you choose? The future, the past, or this present moment?

Remember, you cannot change the past. So embrace it and move on.

2. Focus on the Now

If you are broke, failed in business, made a grave mistake, or been dumped by someone you love, it does not mean that it will be this way forever.

Where you are right now is just where it is. If you are broke and in debt, it does not mean that you will continue to be this way in the future.

Your current situation does not define you. You get to define yourself and your future.

Most people are chained by their past and current situation. They act like an elephant. Have you ever wonder how people manage to leash the biggest animal on land with just a small chain?

The steel chain is used to leash on the elephant’s leg since it was a baby. And because the baby elephant doesn’t have the strength to break the chain on its leg, it started to accept that whenever the chain is on its leg, it can never go anywhere. Even after the baby elephant has grown into a giant size animal that can push over trees.

Are you acting the same as the elephant?

Stop letting your past define who you are. When someone said that you should work in the sanitary department because you failed in school, does that mean you should heed the advice?

Not at all. You get to define who you want to be and where you want to go. You have a choice to live the future you want.

Therefore, stop living in the past or your current dire situation. And don’t let someone’s opinion of you become your reality.

Where you are right now can be temporary. Choose to change and choose to breakthrough and live the life you want.

3. Acknowledge Your Achievements


This is what you can do when you are feeling down or frustrated. When you acknowledge your accomplishment, even the small ones, you will feel better.

I believe that God never makes junk. Everyone has the potential to achieve something they want in their lives. And whether you believed it or not, you are a winner, and there will be something that you did much better than someone else.

You may not have noticed it yet because you seldom acknowledge your victory. So what you want to do is to list down all the victories you have had in your life.

Take a piece of paper and write down your achievements, regardless of whether it is a big one or a small one. Just list them down.

For example, the list can be something like you have successfully graduated from college, you know how to create a blog and publish your first article, you are reading this article to improve your life, etc.

As you go through this process, you will discover that you are doing quite okay in life. You have achievements, and you should be proud of yourself.

Even though they may be small and general accomplishments, but when you acknowledge them as victories, you will feel delighted and slowly, it will restore your confidence and make you feel great again.

By the way, don’t just list down your achievements for the sake of doing it. Feel it. Feel your accomplishments and associate emotions with it.

4. Do the Gratitude Exercise

This is another exercise you can do. I have been doing this for months now, and I can tell you that this gratitude exercise has made me feel more peaceful and happy in life.

The gratitude exercise is part of my morning ritual. You should incorporate it as your morning habit too.

It is the same with acknowledging your achievements, but this time, you list down things that make you grateful.

Each morning, I will list down about 3 or 5 things that I’m thankful. Why only 3 or 5 things you may ask. Well, I don’t focus on the quantity. Instead, I focus on the feelings as I write them down.

The most important key is your feelings and your emotions. You want to use the gratitude exercise to uplift and make you feel better.

Well, don’t just read this. Decide and commit to doing it tomorrow morning, or you can start doing it tonight before you sleep.

Nothing is going to change if you just read this and do nothing. If you want to see changes, you must initiate the change.

Let me know how you feel after you have done this for a few days.

5. Infuse Yourself with Positivity

If you want to get away from the negative loop, you have to stay away from negative people. People who complain, blame or always give excuses are not going to do any good in your life.

Instead, join positive people who will encourage you to move on and move up. The people you mix with are extremely important because they can influence your thinking.

Besides that, you can try to think positive by reading inspirational books or any interesting story that will lift you up. Reading is one of the most important factors that can change people’s life.

I have devoted a whole article about reading and how it can change people’s life. You can read it here, Why Reading Is Important.

Furthermore, you can infuse yourself with positivity by asking positive questions. Don’t ask “Why does this has to happen to me”, ask “What can I learn from this”. It will change your perspective and your state.

Anthony Robbins says, “Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.”

If you want to be positive, you have to infuse yourself into positivity. Do something that will make you feel positive.

6. Get Some Inspiration


When you are down, try to get some inspiration. When I’m feeling frustrated, I will stop and pick up a book to read. Usually, after the reading, I will feel inspired and ready to take on the world again.

Like I said before, reading is important, and it can change your life. It can inspire you and shortcut your success journey.

You get to learn the ideas, knowledge, and insights from others who have done it. You get to learn their mistakes and experiences. This is why you should make it a habit of reading and learning constantly.

Extraordinary people like Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Vishen Lakhiani, Anthony Robbins, Jack Canfield, Zappos’ CEO, Tony Hsieh, are voracious readers.

If you don’t like to read, it’s alright, you can do something else to get inspiration. Try to visit the old folk’s home or the orphanage. Or try to offer help to strangers on the street. Volunteer yourself to help out.

Doing these will open your mind and give you the idea that you can be part of the community and still contribute to the world even when you are down.

Don’t trap yourself in your past. Stop beating yourself up and get some inspiration right now.

7. Mistakes and Failures Are Inevitable

Just like you have to understand that you can’t change the past, mistakes and failures are inevitable too.

Let me ask you, when did you learn to appreciate the most? It is when you lost it, only then you will realize how much you appreciate it.

When would you feel pain? It is when you get hurt, only then you will realize how painful it is.

So when do you learn the most? It is when you fail or make mistakes; you learn the most.

Of course, some people choose to give up and quit. Or they succumb to their failures and mistakes. These people will never learn anything because they choose to turn away from their setback rather than confront it.

I like this quote from Confucius:

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

It is how high you can bounce that matters. You can fall eight times and choose to get up once more.

This is how babies learn to walk. When babies try to walk, and they fall, would you stop them from trying? No, you will not. So what you do? You encourage them to stand up again and try one more time.

The baby will keep trying until he or she learns to walk. Why don’t you do this in your life? Keep on trying until you succeed.

It is alright if you failed or made mistakes. These are common and they inevitable. If you don’t make mistakes or fail, probably, you did not try hard or venture far enough.

And always remember that your setbacks, failures, mistakes, rejections, and hardships are there to grow you into a better person.

Like what Les Brown said, “Don’t say that you are having a bad day. Say that you are having a character-building day.”

8. Detach Yourself

Sometimes, you have to believe that the universe or the higher power or God has laid down everything for you. You just cannot see it yet.

You have to detach yourself from the situation so that you can refresh your mind and see the bigger picture from the outside.

There is no point to beat yourself up because of your mistakes or failures. Choose to detach yourself and walk away. Do something totally unrelated. Go travel. Take a break and get some rest.

Come back again when you are ready. You will find that whenever you walk away from the situation, you will feel better and the solutions will come to you.

Jack Ma, Alibaba’s founder and one of the richest people in China once said that whenever he faced a tough situation that he can’t solve, he will walk away and take a nap. After the nap, he will feel better, and the solution will come itself.

There is no point to force yourself. When you feel like the world is coming down and you want to give up, don’t. Stop and detach yourself from the situation. Take a walk in the garden. Go for a swim. Go for a jog or go and take a nap.

You will feel better after that because you recharge your energy and refresh your mind. Your creative juices will flow, and you will get “unstuck.”

9. Work on Your Physical Health


Everyone knows that exercise is important, but most people still don’t commit to it. Research has shown that people who commit to exercise have higher self-esteem, better self-discipline and thus, they are able to accomplish better results than most people who don’t exercise at all.

When you workout, be it in the gym or not, you are moving your muscle. You enhance your blood flow and build up endorphin that makes you feel happy.

When you are healthy, energetic and fresh, you tend to be more positive. On the other hand, when you are sick, lethargic and exhausted, you will tend to think more negatively.

Well, you don’t have to get to the gym to workout. You can do some simple stretching at your home. Or you can choose to go for a spa or a massage. How nice, right?

Meditation helps too. Studies showed that meditation has a lot of benefits. It can calm your mind and connect better with your inner self.

You can go for swimming, biking, hiking, play tennis, or does something that will make you sweat. These are the activities that can improve your physical and mental health.

It does not take you a day to exercise. A short 10 minutes meditation can clear off your mind and refresh your soul. A 20 minutes stretching can energize your body and make you feel great.

Therefore, commit to exercising and improving your physical health every day. If you feel like you don’t have the time, do a quick 20 or minutes exercise will do.

10. Reignite Your Desire

One of the most important things you can do when you feel like beating up yourself over mistakes is to reignite your desire.

When all else seems bleak, and you feel frustrated, try to envision your future again. It may not be easy because you may trap in the negative thinking cycle, but decide to do it anyway.

For instance, you can sit down and rewrite your dreams, your goals, and your vision. This process can reconnect you with your deepest desire once more.

You will feel hope again after you do this. The key is to consciously remind yourself of your goals, your dreams and the future you want to have.

When you revisit what you want in life, you will feel better because you changed your focus from thinking about the problems to thinking about the possibility.

People usually feel negative when they focus on the problems. You want to break out from the cycle by choosing your thoughts. When you think about your goals, your dreams and the future you want, you immediately switch your focus.

I strongly suggest you practice daily goal setting. Write down your goals every single day. The best moment is in the morning before you start your work.

This process can drive you, give you energy, set you on the right course and create a great start for you.

And this is what I practiced every day too. Writing down my most important goals and reviewing them are part of my morning ritual.

And it has changed my life ever since. You don’t have to wait until things go wrong only to do this. You can do it and program what you want into your mind starting from now.


These are the ten easy ways how to stop beating yourself up over mistakes. You don’t have to follow through all ten of them. Just choose one and take action immediately.

So which of these methods work best for you? Let me know and share with me in the comment section below.

And if you like what you have read, kindly share and enlighten them as well.


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2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Thank you for this article, Shawn. I came across it just as I was beating myself up over a critical error in my nursing care. I found your suggestions helpful to get me back on track and I learned a few things I will share with my staff as well. Truly helpful information!

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