Life doesn’t always go as we expect, have you noticed!? 

The unexpected can be major and have widespread consequences or it can be personal and affect only us. To complicate things, the way we humans communicate with each other about what’s going on isn’t perfect.

For example, during any working day there are those unintended ‘mis-steps’ where we say something that doesn’t come out quite the way we meant it to. Should we back-up and straighten it out or just keep going?

In my experience, stopping everything and saying something like, ‘Sorry, what I meant to say then was…’  We’ve put it right just there. Done. After we’ve set things straight everyone moves on and so do we.

Or do we?  

Some people can get through these untidy bits of life and take them in their stride. Others need to feel the pain and pick it over in excruciating detail. Somehow, raking over our pain gives us some momentary relief and this is where we can get into Victim mode.

Once it’s got space in our heads, the recriminations begin to pop up. We get stuck in a groove of blame which can make us vulnerable to negative thoughts about ourselves and others.

It is possible to let go of an upset like this and these steps may help:

1.    Stop

2.    In your mind, step back from your mistake (by the way, it’s annoying but true that we all really do make mistakes)

3.    Get rational about it by saying something to yourself like ‘hang on, what just happened there?’

4.    Decide the rectifying action needed

5.    Take the action as quickly as possible.

6.    Forget about it and/or think what you learnt from it?

If these feelings of self-recrimination and resentment persist, allow yourself to have a thought about something that’s a strength. Your ‘Management’ role or your ‘Parenting’ role or maybe your ‘Friendship’ role or your ‘Dependable Colleague’ role.

Life plays out. Some of it we can control, some of it we can’t but we can observe it, be aware of the way we are reacting to it and if necessary, change our thoughts.