Tomorrow is the anniversary of my mom’s death.  Still as hard every year as the first.  I miss her.  But, I must tell you that this year has been different.  Since October of last year (I decided to make the change months before, but it took me awhile to execute!), I made a conscious decision to change my life.  To recognize my long-term mistakes and change my direction.  What would my mom say about what I’ve done this year, the decisions I made, the people I’ve met, the life I’m now living?

When I decided on this path, I recalled that my mom once told me that it’s not enough to admit failure or mistakes, you have to understand them and look deeply and critically at yourself in the process.

That’s what I’ve been doing this year.

My first step was to recognize my mistakes.  I used to blame outside circumstances on what was happening to me but the truth is I was allowing s*** to happen to me.  I was putting up with the mistakes over and over again.   Think of kids who try over and over to get something right.  Eventually, they figure out that their approach is wrong and they try something different – or walk away.  Their first step is recognition (which for adults can take a bit longer!).

Then it’s time to ask yourself some questions: Did I make accurate assumptions about the person or thing or situation?  Did I forget to listen to my gut?  What would an outsider say about my decisions?  Am I hiding behind something else?

For me, I often made some decisions based on my own insecurities.  They looked like mistakes (and they usually were) but they were based on a number of different factors that were partly me and how I looked at the world and based largely on my own fears.  In my ruthless review of my strengths and weaknesses, my needs and wants, my ability to keep my blinders on longer than most, I can see more clearly how I got myself into various situations.

Once we can see how we got there, it’s time to implement the changes.  Sometimes making these changes can be overwhelming.  So, just try fixing one thing at a time.  That’s what I did.  First, I made the decision to change.  It took me three months to do it, but once I did – I decided to let it marinate for a bit.  Then I made the next move, and the next.  Then I let myself be vulnerable again and here I am – closing in on my year with the most amazing changes and people in my life.

Look, we can’t stop making mistakes.  But once we understand them, they won’t bother us as much, we won’t let them last so long and we’ll forgive ourselves more, all the while continuing on our cool learning experience called – life.

Have a great rest of your week!