How to Fix a Mistake

May 17, 2016 Silke Morin

How do you fix a mistake once it's done? Fixing a mistake is easy, but it can be a difficult thing to face. Here's how to fix a mistake graciously.

When it's possible, knowing how to fix a mistake is a good thing to understand. You made a mistake; you said or did something that you regret. Luckily, you can course correct in life when you’ve veered off track. Here are some suggestions for how to do it. Here's how to fix a mistake.

To Fix a Mistake, You Must See How You Made One

It can be demoralizing and upsetting to realize that you have mishandled a situation. Maybe you’ve reacted out of an emotional state rather than responding calmly. Maybe you fell into an old, unskillful pattern that doesn’t exemplify how you live today.

If you are trying to be your best self and live according to your values, making mistakes means that you’ve veered off track. It’s a signal that you need to course correct in your life.

How to Fix a Mistake Graciously

The first step in fixing a mistake is to acknowledge the mistake that you made. Don’t pretend that it didn’t happen. Instead, choose to recognize what you’ve done. And if what you’ve done requires an apology, then apologize. Own up to your missteps (How to Like Yourself More).

The second step to fixing a mistake is to practice self-compassion. Don’t beat up yourself for making a mistake. Feelings of guilt and shame are not productive to living a blissful life. They tend to engage you in a cycle of negativity. We are all human, and we all make mistakes. Be kind to yourself.

The third step in fixing a mistake is to learn from your mistake. Don’t waste the experience. View it as an opportunity for growth. Consider how might you respond differently the next time you're in a similar situation. Think about what your mistake tells you about yourself.

You Can Fix a Mistake Without Dwelling on It

I often say that I am “living from my scars,” which means that while my past mistakes don’t define me, they do (and should) inform how I live my life now.

If you choose to acknowledge mistakes, practice self-compassion, and learn from those mistakes, you can fix a mistake in your life, and when you do, you will get back on track and move forward, closer to being your best self.

Find Silke on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and on her personal blog.

Image from Flickr user Beth Scupham.

APA Reference
Morin, S. (2016, May 17). How to Fix a Mistake, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 18 from

Author: Silke Morin

Silke Morin is a scientist, educator, and writer in Austin, Texas. Striving to live a contemplative life, marked by kindness, compassion, and joy, Silke is the author of Find Silke on Twitter, Google+, and Twitter.

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