Get Back On Track: Making up for missteps and mistakes

Life is hard and things happen. Perhaps you failed a test or made a bad decision. You are not the first person to fail a class or make a mistake and you will not be the last. However, the steps that you take after you’ve fallen short can either push forward or hold you back. Today’s students are paying close attention to their peers (in school, on social media, etc.) making it easier to judge and compare each other’s successes and missteps. Just remember that you are not your mistakes and can recover from this. While it may seem that this misstep is going to consume you, that is not the case. The good news is that big mistakes can be big learning opportunities.

Here are some steps to help you advance:

  • Step 1: Own Up To It. It is important to take responsibility for your own actions. It takes a mature person to recognize that they have done something wrong or didn’t live up to their potential. The first step in growth is to accept what has happened and your role in it. 

  • Step 2: Apologize When Necessary. No matter how hard we try to avoid hurting those around us, our actions affect others directly and indirectly. If you have inconvenienced, hurt or disappointed someone around you, a genuine apology can go a long way in moving forward.

  • Step 3: Accept Your Consequence. Determine what is needed to repair your error. If you failed to turn an assignment in on time, accept that you may receive a lower grade. If you were late to school, accept that you may receive detention. Apologizing without accepting your consequences can seem arrogant and fighting the repercussions of your actions shows that you are not really sorry.

  • Step 4: Learn From It. Use this experience as a chance to improve yourself. Create a study plan that will help you on the next test.  Ask for advice from a trusted adult, they are a great source of wisdom. Take a good look in the mirror and adjust your behavior.

  • Step 5: Let It Go. Be sure to apologize to yourself and move on. Try your best to not repeat your mistakes but understand that everyone has missteps. Obsessing over an accident is a sure way to hold you back. Being too hard on yourself isn’t healthy, but growing from your past is.

Moving forward, use what you’ve learned from your situation as motivation to do better and be better!

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Brenda Torres