As some of you may know, I got my drivers license less than six months ago. I hadn’t driven over Christmas (didn’t have to, so didn’t), and was feeling a bit “out of practice” as I hopped into the drivers seat this morning on my way to an appointment.
Everything was going fine (minus a few silly parking things like usual), when I went through an intersection, not seeing a lady wanting to cross at the crosswalk. I stopped in the middle of the road to let her go, feeling like an idiot as she glared at me.
The perfectionist in me was livid…
“You’re such a dumb ass, how could you not have SEEN that woman wanting to cross the road? You could have HIT her!”
My inner consciousness continued to berate me for the rest of the drive, and even as I parked the car and settled into my day at the shop.
But then the awareness came into focus:
“You’re a human being doing the best you can…that makes MISTAKES (gasp)! It’s okay…really, it is.”
And wow is that true. We all screw up sometimes; it’s often not intentional and there is absolutely no point in going over it again and again, in a self-deprecating way. The beauty of blunders like these is that we learn something each time they happen. It had been a while since I had driven, I had just gotten needles stuck into my muscles (ouch, by the way), and while it isn’t an excuse, it’s reality. I DID see the pedestrian, I DID stop for her, and I’ll surely be more careful next time.
We’re pretty damn tough on ourselves. It’s easier (for some reason) to focus more on the negative, rather than the positive; to relive the mistakes, rather than the successes. This was another one of those moments where it felt so good to notice myself behaving in this way, to breathe, and to crawl out from that familiar hole.
We’re all going to mess up…many times. Is it possible to pause in those moments, notice and soak in the lesson, and actually move forward? YES!
I encourage you to put this behavior on your inner radar and try and notice when it flares up for you. How can you soften around it?
With love (and more cautious driving),