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How To Avoid Dwelling On Past Mistakes

We’ve all been there. You lie down to go to sleep at night, but instead, memories come back to haunt you. From something as innocent as calling someone by the wrong name, to that time you left an interview and realized you’d had a big stain on your shirt the whole time. Or maybe you keep beating yourself up about that time you fell asleep when you were supposed to meet a friend, leaving them stranded alone somewhere, waiting for you. These memories of your past mistakes can often haunt you and follow you around – at school, at work, during dinner with your family. They mess up our focus and our good mood.

When these memories come up, judgment usually follows. You find yourself thinking, “I’m stupid, I always mess up, I never get it right”… We can be quite creative with the ways we come up with to bring ourselves down. We’re often our own worst critics, and hold ourselves to higher standards than we do others.

Thinking about our mistakes isn’t necessarily bad. After all, we do want to improve ourselves by learning from them. However, it’s a pretty thin between thinking about our past mistakes and ruminating on them, and it’s easy to fall into the latter without realizing it.

Repeatedly thinking about your mistakes can be a form of rumination. Rumination literally means “chewing the cud” – as in, when a cow regurgitates it’s food and chews it over again. This term can apply in a similar fashion when we do the same with our thoughts – we bring them up and keep going over our negative experiences repetitively. Rumination can trigger depression and anxiety. Therefore, learning how to recognize and deal with it can be essential. The real question is how to do that. Here are some tips.

Check out the video for a more in-depth look at the Marcus Mariota Rule, how he deals with losing and how to stay focused.

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