Do Better Next Time: 5 Ways to Get Over a Big Mistake

a middle-aged man clasping his hands together in frustration

Out of the 7.8 billion people currently inhabiting the Earth, every one of them has made mistakes, and will continue to do so.

We’re sure we’ve driven the point home by now, but if there’s any confusion, allow us to reiterate: mistakes are as familiar as the warm feeling of the sun on your bare skin (unless you’re from Alaska, sorry about that).

Instead of burying yourself under the overwhelming weight of guilt and remorse, it’s important to find a healthy way to move forward from a big mistake.

Here are some tips:

1. Figure Out Whether You Hurt Someone and Make Sincere Amends

Understanding the gravity of your mistake is crucial.

If your mistake hurt someone, make sincere amends. You may feel compelled to apologize immediately, and while that’s important, we strongly recommend not leaving things at that. Instead, take the time to understand what you did wrong and why it caused the pain that it did.

A strong understanding of your shortcomings will prevent you from making a superficial apology. Instead, you’ll manage to offer a genuine, heartfelt, and meaningful apology that is backed by a change in your behavior/words/actions.

It may take some time for the individual to accept your apology. In fact, they may never come around. Make peace with that and offer them space.

2. Cut Yourself Some Slack

a young woman drinking coffee and introspecting in a casual home setting


If your mistake didn’t cause anyone else harm, it’s very likely that you bore the brunt. Whether you embarrassed yourself or let yourself down, cut yourself some slack.

We hate to say it because of how clichéd it sounds, but everyone makes mistakes. This isn’t to dismiss your mistake, it’s to remind you that you can and will recover from the incident.

Process it, laugh it off, and live your best life.

3. Keep Yourself In Check

Mistakes that cause other people harm shouldn’t be left to float around in thin air. Capture them, enclose them in a virtual box, and observe them every day. This is a great way to hold yourself accountable and keep yourself in check, especially if the mistake caused offense.

We suggest journaling to keep track of your progress and ensure you do better.

In this case, it’s best to not get over the mistake.

The Bachelorette star, Hannah Brown, recently got into trouble for saying the N-word during a live video on Instagram. She took some time to reflect, acknowledged her mistake, and has been educating herself on the history and importance of racial equity and justice since.

Instead of turning a blind eye to the controversy and waiting for it to go away, she has been sharing valuable resources and actively holding herself accountable. While this is the bare minimum and deserves no applause, it’s something. Do the same by putting in the work depending on your mistake and constantly keeping yourself in check.

4. Find a Healthy Way Forward

a young woman reading a yellow hardcover book on her balcony


Whether you stock up on resources, read motivational books, or watch educational documentaries, find a healthy way forward.

Ralph Sanders’ powerful autobiography “Halftime Hustler” offers great insights into learning from your mistakes and starting over without losing sight of accountability. He also touches upon similar themes in “Break Loose” and “Held Hostage.”

Ultimately, find the right way forward for yourself. Consciously strive to do better instead of hoping things will get better with time (they won’t). Unless you take genuine remedial action, your mistake will likely follow you around like Scrooge’s ghosts.

5. Continue to Reflect and Better Yourself

In the months and years leading up to the mistake, spend your time wisely by continuing to reflect, learn, and grow. This three-step process isn’t restricted to the short period following your mistake. It’s a lifelong process that you need to actively engage in to ensure you undo the damage and altruistically better yourself.

Browse through Ralph Sanders’ videos for the motivation and encouragement you need to do better. He touches upon a wide range of subjects, including resilience, accountability, grit, and perseverance.

If you’re looking for a renowned motivational speaker for your business or school, feel free to get in touch with Ralph Sanders’ management.

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