You dropped the ball.
Can’t remember the critical opening line of your speech or presentation.
You hit reply all.
Forgot that one critical piece of information.
Failed to plan ahead, or see the entire picture.

Imagine if you will, that giant mistake.

If you’re anything like me, when the realization hits that you have made a mistake, panic spreads in the body like wild fire.  The palms get a bit sweaty.  The heart beats a little faster, and shoulders start to creep up.  Tension rising.
Then, the thought-lashing begins.  Most of it is somewhat subconscious, but none of it feels good.
It begins a little something like this:  “you idiot…how could you forgot that????  You are not smart enough to even be here.  They’re all gonna figure out you’re stupid now…..”
And that’s just the beginning.

I forget a minor detail and all of the sudden I’m the dumbest person alive.
Didn’t cross off my ENTIRE to-do list?  I’m useless (never mind what I DID achieve).

And yet, here’s what I know: the lashing causes more harm than good.
I would never dream of criticizing another like I do myself.  If one of my co-workers, or children for that matter, made I mistake, I know better than to meet it with “You idiot!” – especially, if I want them to some day succeed.  So why do I do it to myself?

I’m left wondering, what would it be like to stay on my own side?
Instead of verbally whipping myself for every little misstep, giving a little latitude.  A little love.  Some space, if you will, to relax and allow those shoulders to drop and take a deep breath.

I’m on your side.

That doesn’t take the mistake away, but buys some time.  Time to make a course correction rather than a panicked reaction.

I’m on your side.

If you stayed on your own side – in your own cheering section – what might that do to your ability to get things done?  To stay with it for the long haul.  To be resilient and move forward?

I’m on your side.

The next time you find yourself in the throes of a mistake, take a moment and pause.
Take a deep breath.  (deep breathing has been shown to increase mental acuity)
Repeat:  I’m on your side, until you actually believe it, and feel some of the tension leaving your body.

Move forward from this space, with or without your cape!

Beth Cline