Baker Schena Communications

Unleashing Your Potential through the Power of Words

Forgiving Your Mistakes

There is no sense in punishing your future for the mistakes of your past. Forgive yourself, grow from it, and then let it go. – Melanie Koulouris

If you are human, you WILL make mistakes – probably daily. It comes with the territory. As I’ve said before, if we didn’t make mistakes, we would be incredibly boring – and insufferable to live with for any length of time.

I know when I wake up in the morning that mistakes will be made: in the kitchen, at the computer, on the phone. Yikes … sometimes my life feels like a series of landmines. The other day I dropped a light bulb onto my bedroom hardwood floor, shattering it into countless shards. I left the oven on when I went to run errands. I “butt dialed” an acquaintance and fortunately did not say anything too embarrassing. I emailed a doctor and called him the wrong name.

Mistakes HAPPEN. And believe me, I have made some BIG mistakes in my lifetime. I’ve trusted the wrong person, accepted the wrong job, bought the wrong car, took some dreadful vacations, ate some wicked food and wasted untold hours on boring books, insipid movies and vacuous individuals.

What I DON’T do, however, is beat myself up over my mistakes -- large or small. Instead, I FORGIVE myself and move on with my life.

Self-reflection is the key to growth and dealing with any collateral damage caused by your mistakes. It is vital to set aside some time every day just to THINK – something easier said than done. Electronics are this generation’s crack, and spending just a few minutes a day alone without any outside stimulation feels like withdrawal. Yet without this time for quiet self-reflection, we become automatons.

So during these times of self-reflection, when reviewing your mistakes big or small, take away the lessons learned – and AVOID passing judgment on yourself. OBJECTIVELY observe what you did wrong, and figure out how to take a better approach next time. Do this without filling your head with negativity and low self-worth. Use your mistakes to lift yourself up, not tear yourself down.

When you make a mistake, write it down. Think about it. Learn from it. AND MOVE ON. Replace the negativity with positivity and gratefulness. These small steps are transformative and will make life much, much sweeter.

Mistakes happen. Don’t be a victim. Instead, forgive yourself and be your own best friend.

Dr. Lori Baker-Schena is the founder and chief executive officer of Baker Schena Communications, a firm dedicated to “Unleashing Your Potential Through the Power of Words.” We offer motivational speaking, leadership consulting and medical writing services. Find us at