Susan Sparks: Squish It Down and Start Again!

I am assuming everyone reading this knows about Play-Doh—the cross between bread dough and modeling clay that came in those little goofy cans? You could get all different colors, make all kinds of cool stuff, and—in a pinch—it didn’t taste bad.

But here’s the thing I loved most about Play-Doh: If you didn’t like what you’d made, you’d just squish it down and start again. In short, you got a second chance.

Ah, for those days again.

Back in the Play-Doh days as a kid, mistakes were just easier. Everything seemed to heal faster and easier. You skinned a knee—it healed in two days. Your feelings got hurt—you forgot about it in half an hour.

But as life goes on, mistakes get harder. For one thing, they get bigger. And we all know that we can make some pretty monumental mistakes. Maybe it’s angry words or failing to say, “I’m sorry.” Maybe the mistake is ending a relationship or, in some instances, starting one. It could be a project we messed up at work or school. Or maybe it’s allowing our anger to fester inside too long,

Think about a mistake you’ve made recently, or a misstep, or a wrong word, or a bad choice. Do you want to start again? Well, you can. It’s two simple steps.

First, learn from your mistake. This first step is critical because if we don’t take the time to learn from our mistakes we will keep making thesame mistakes. I’m sure you’ve heard this: “The definition of Insanity if doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” We must take the time to learn from our mistakes. And there’s always an opportunity for learning.

Second, we have to let our mistakes go. We waste so much time hand-wringing over mistakes. We get stuck there, beating ourselves up, feeling bad about ourselves, judging ourselves. And what good does that do? It just tears us down and wastes our energy.

We have to let go, not only of our mistake, but our fear of making another one. It’s like the old saying warns, “Better oops, than what if.”

What are the mistakes you’ve made recently?

Are you ready to move on?

Good! Then squish ‘em down and start again!

Reposted from Susan's newsletter, Shiny Side Up! To connect with Susan, click here.



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