Why You Keep Repeating the Same Mistake

How, By Focusing on the Bad, I Kept Repeating It

I am the poster child of tripping over the same rock, again and again, but I have stopped beating myself up over it.

Some might see this as letting yourself off the hook too easy, but I have realized that this is not the case.

What do you keep tripping over? What is one major change that you would really like to do, but you keep failing at it?

The answer has to do with neural pathways that get created as we do things. When we do something right, a pathway is created. Unfortunately, a pathway is also created when we something wrong. We basically build habits this way, both good and bad. So the reason we keep making the same mistakes is that we slip by default back into existing neural pathways.

Sit back and think about the last time you let yourself down (utilizing a bad neural pathway). What was your environment like? What was your trigger? Where was your misstep?

Research, explore and journal about your last mistake, so that you can reread your thoughts, when you are feeling down.

Tell people you love. Shout from the rooftops and find your tribe, who will help and carry you along, when you cannot carry yourself. Learn to beat the habitual practice of repeated bad behaviours by creating a list, you can go, when you feel the desire to fall back. Create the best environment for the good habit to foster in.

Everyone has their flaws, so never feel alone. Just because your hurtle might be different than my hurtle, it does not diminish what each of us is going through.

To err is human, surely. But why do so many people make the same errors over and over again? Several recent studies reveal how our brains don’t learn from our past mistakes to the extent we might hope. In fact, thinking about past flubs might only doom us to repeat them.

Let’s quit dwelling on the wrongs of yesterday and only focus on the fresh, full potential of today. We can learn from our mistakes, but if we obsess over them, I wonder if we are doomed, to be in waiting, for the repeated pattern to return.

Let’s focus on the good and maybe the energy, in the right energy, will propel us in the right direction. If we stop dwelling on the bad steps, we take away their power. When we constantly think about them, we are simply reinforcing said behaviours in our minds.

“When successes are easy to recall, people display more self-control than when they have difficulty recalling successes. However, recalling failures prompts indulgence regardless of its difficulty.”

Remembering just one or two successes is a better way to break out of a failure loop.

So while these three issues present us with three very good reasons why we might seem doomed to repeat our mistakes, the truth is that we are best to concentrate on a couple of successes, and congratulate ourselves when we get it right. Next time you are tempted to beat yourself up over a bad decision or a regrettable mistake, hold back. Celebrate your successes instead.

I have been obsessing over my past mistakes, beating myself over them and constantly fearful of repeating them. Instead of spending all of my energy on all the great improvements I have been making, I have been picking away at my mistakes, allowing them to fester.

From today on, I am making it a daily practice to focus on the good. I want to congratulate myself for all the good things I did, plan for a productive, positive day, today and deal with tomorrow, in the exact same way, but not until tomorrow comes.

We would never harp on our friends the way we berate ourselves, so we need to start seeing ourselves the way we see our loved ones. Let’s be a bit easier on ourselves, focus on the good and learn from the bad.

I write about issues that are near and dear to my heart, with the hope that my stories, experiences, and struggles may empower others: amanlitt.ca

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