Conversation with Your BFF: “How Long Should I Beat Myself Up for Bad Decisions?”

There’s no one harder on you than you are. We all make bad choices and decisions, some of us realize when we do, and we kick ourselves afterwards. It’s important to understand when we have really screwed up and move on from there, hopefully making better choices in the future. So is there a specific time that you should grieve a stupid move before you move on? I am so glad you asked!

You Are Not Your Decisions

With each year of life, we get to choose, by what we live and see, the values and morals we adhere to throughout our lives. What I think is morally right, you might completely disagree with, either partly or wholly. But did you ever think that not burying yourself in shame, doesn’t mean you are okay with how you behaved?

You can hold on to the thought that your behavior went against your own values and moral code and not make it mean you’re wrong or bad as a person. You can believe your behavior was bad, without believing you are bad. Repeat that five times to yourself and let it sink in.

Self Shame Isn’t Always Beneficial

If you’re on this earth for a good many years, you’re going to realize that you’ve acted in ways that you don’t love and you equate that to mean you are a terrible person. We often make our behavior our identity, creating so much shame and judgment on ourselves that we actually shy away from dissecting why we acted that way in the first place. If you shame yourself too much, you won’t spend any time getting to the root of your behavior, and be able to create positive change so that behavior never occurs again.

Continually beating yourself up over bad choices and decisions, or words spoken in anger, doesn’t allow you to analyze why you did or said what you regret. It’s a positive move to realize you did wrong, if you don’t realize it, you really have a big problem!

Sometimes Life’s Biggest Mistakes Are Times of Growth

We’re all human and we make mistakes. No matter how good of a person you are, or how good of a life you lead, you’re going to make mistakes. Those times when you aren’t at your best are going to hurt either you or someone else or both. Regret will soon follow if you are self aware and have a conscience. If you are able to hold space for yourself in these moments, grant yourself grace – these times of mistakes and missteps can actually lead to your biggest moments of growth.

The next time you feel ‘I shouldn’t have done that’ or ‘Why did I say that?’ step back and take a breath and know that you can make things right and can move on with a clearer vision of yourself and the person you want to be from here on out.


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