How To Bounce Back From A Big Mistake

Mistakes. Everyone does, we’re humans at the end, haha, right? Damn, when you’re the one who made that stupid but big mistake, your whole world turns upside down! Emotions, ideas, other people’s feelings of disappointment or anger… A mixture of chaos and complications. Especially if you’re a female, you’ll have more emotional work! What to do to recover from a mistake? I’m giving you two lists, one immediate response, second is the next day response.

I made a huge mistake, just happened a few hours ago, and I think you may get some ideas if that happens to you as well, what you can do to cut your loses and feel okay again. Also, that’s a note for my future self, not to be like a lonely little puppy next time it happens to happen again.

I’ll tell you later in the end what my mistake was. Not so important for you, and that’s not the point of this post and why I’m writing it. Point is what you can immediately do when things go wrong, you make mistake, and then you feel really really bad, and kindly very guilty, sad, and almost traumatized, you suck, you should have done that instead, etc.. Many many dark words coming to your mind. What you could do better. What went wrong. This post is to ease that pain initially and then take constructive steps.

Immediate Recover From a Mistake List:

Okay, let’s start the first immediate reaction list when things go wrong after you made a mistake:

1 – Make your mind into happiness. I say that because when you feel down, you don’t want to go up. You just want to feel more down, and sad. But consciously say yes, “I want to feel better”. If you don’t decide that decision, this list is worthless, and you can go beat yourself. But please don’t do. If you made it to here, you deserve to deal with this emotional crisis better.

2 – Don’t think. Don’t think about what just happened. It’s already done. You can’t change it by understanding it now in this emotional crisis time. You’ll have time in the next day, to analyze and take lessons. Do not think now…

3- Right now, do not get emotional. Don’t let the emotions lead your mind and actions. Don’t yell someone, or yourself. If you had a meditation practice, you’d ease the emotions, and be calm (but probably you wouldn’t do the mistake in the first place if you do meditation… lol )

4 – Don’t punish yourself. Not yet. 🙂 I was walking home after things went wrong and already over.. I saw Starbucks and got in. It was 9 pm. There was no line. I told the guy “give me a double shot alcohol.” He was completely puzzled, asked me again, I said give a double shot whiskey or something. Isn’t it people do when they are so sad? I feel terrible. I want to feel good.” He gave me an espresso. I hold the little cup, it felt like empty. Told him “my first espresso”. It was terrible, and I got a good pleasure of punishing myself.

5 – No alcohol. I think you should be drinking alcohol only you feel good, celebrating, etc. To drink to cover some darkness, is very temporarily, and it would bring up more sad stuff on the surface, like you could feel crying, fighting, etc.. So it is not a solution. And it could make a habit that whenever things go down, you go drink. That’s not good. It could make you feel good temporarily, and that’s what I’m telling in this first section, but with good what I mean is natural, healthy stuff. Not drugs or alcohol that will make you forget things.

6 – Take a bath, if that makes you feel good. For me, a hot bubble bath always makes me feel good and appreciate that I can do that and what I have. In this case, I didn’t have time, so I took a shower, it did feel good, but at times I found my body posture all down, and I sat holding my head down. And then let myself do this for few seconds. Otherwise, I felt, not good things are coming. I ended my shower with 30-50 seconds cold shower. (So here’s a note, hot shower will make you relax but also think about past. The cold shower, however, makes you focus on the present, now, and give good feelings about future. I can’t do all cold shower, but I always end the shower with cold, and it always feels amazing, and it’s also very healthy for the body as well as mind)

7 – Talk to a friend who’s supportive. Initially, you will not want to talk someone. You’re devastated. That’s why if you can get that phone, and talk a friend who’s supportive, not judging or analytical, call and tell him/her you feel bad, and ask for motivation. Don’t go into details about the situation. You want to keep your mind away from it. In my case, I texted my friend Ece, and she’s a cutie, she said “People make mistake, so you do. You can’t be perfect always”. Which sounds like I’m always perfect, and okay to make a mistake, she still loves me.

8 – Even better, have your friend visit you or stay with you. If you have someone, that would be another great idea.

9 – Sleep. Oh, sleep and time will cure it a lot, at least the emotional damaging part. Your sleep on the first night wouldn’t be easy, it’ll be hard to fall asleep because you’ll be thinking about what just happened, and you may keep waking up. I suggest listening some guided meditations on Youtube. They are relaxing and will help you to fall asleep. If you wake up in the middle of night, please don’t feel pressure or guilt of having those thoughts and guilty feelings. It’s okay. Just try to relax and sleep, maybe listen to another meditation. Tell yourself, that you will work on the thinking part tomorrow.

10 – Watch something fun. You absolutely won’t want to laugh. It’s like all your endorphin hormones are gone, and you just don’t ever want them back again. That’s why open that silly Youtube videos, and start laughing. Because then you’re going to feel, you’re okay. You’re alive. It’s not all bad.

11 – Maybe try watching a fun movie. I watched a movie called Hurt Locker. It was sad, and a bit depressive. War movie. Made me feel appreciate that I’m not there in these areas and situations, but immediately the movie ended, I had the darkness of the movie, and plus my situation. So I definitely suggest a happy movie, if not, don’t even watch a movie.

Second Day Actions

Okay darling, yay, you passed the first day. You’ll feel like it’s not that bad like you were thinking it’s the end of the world. The second day is going to be easier than the first day, not great, but much easier. We’ll learn lessons as much as possible, so the brain at least will put an end to this thinking, and emotions are gonna get better with time, and constant awareness of them.

12 – What went wrong? We must take lessons from the mistake. Either talk to a friend, in this case not just someone supports you and gives you a hug, but also witnessed the situation and can input some objective ideas into the analyzing. Write them down. Put them into your mind. This will relieve the mind into not asking more questions.

13 – Was it really your mistake? Maybe you’re just self-judging for no reason. Maybe you like to take the responsibility for something that was out of your control completely! In this case, if it’s someone else or something else, do not go to blaming them, it’s useless in my opinion and it puts you in the victim mode and is not gonna build any confidence or teach lessons… So, take the responsibility, and say that you hired a wrong person, you trusted the weather and it ruined the outdoor wedding, you didn’t check the engine, etc..

14 – Take your responsibility. If it was really your mistake, darling, sweetheart honey, we all make mistakes. And if we don’t, it means we are coward at the back seat in the safety not trying anything. Take the responsibility fully. It was your doing, and it’s okay as long as lessons learned, and same mistakes won’t happen again.

15 – Apologize.  Apologize from the people who were affected. Genuinely. You didn’t mean to hurt them or affect them in a negative way. And you suffered from it. You are really sorry. It won’t happen again, lessons learned.

16 – Move on. Do not repeat the mistake and what happened again and again. What help would it give? Oh, you want to punish yourself? Do it. Do you want to humiliate yourself keep talking about how shitty you feel that you made this mistake? Do it. Or, you want to move on, feel good. Then, focus on lessons. Focus on the learnings because of that mistake. Talk about the lessons, not the mistakes.

17 – Feeling motivated? Maybe you feel sorry for other people did the same mistake, or going to do it… Share your learnings, build a community for those people so they can talk, learn, and grow together. Start a forum, blog, a place where those people can come together and talk… Obviously a positive growing atmosphere, not where people feel bad about themselves.

Because of the number 16, I decided not go on details, but shortly I’m the captain of our ping-pong team, and because of my mistake, the best team of the league, LOST! Because of my big strategic mistake. Oh man, even writing it hurts my heart. I built that team, I picked the best players. Everybody knew we were gonna win again. (Hmm… So I’m blaming myself as you see… No mention of lessons. Oh, it’s so new still. I’m going to write my lessons in my journal.)


These are my how to bounce back from a mistake lists. I hope it helps you. Anything you want to add? I’m curious to hear from you.