Why is it that it can be so difficult to let go of mistakes?

I've noticed from my own experience that letting go of past mistakes is easier said than done. Sure, you could be forgiven for them and someone else can easily tell you to just let it go, but it's like it's already etched into who you are.

So what are some reasons that we don't easily forget our mistakes?

4 Answers

Relevance
  • 2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    It ties into a few things, hopefully this all makes sense from a lay person's psychological perspective on the human mind....but more from someone who struggled with self loathing for quite some time.

    1.) Forgive yourself - Being forgiven by someone else isn't the same as admitting to yourself you're sorry you for what you did but aren't sad about it anymore. I had to forgive myself, out loud, for destroying my body by smoking for so many years. It's weird, but works. If I recall, I said something like, "I'm sorry for disrespecting this body and inflicting such terrible damage on it. I forgive myself and will do better".

    2.) Pity party - I don't know what it is about us humans, but wallowing in pity as a form of self worship feels good. It feels good to sit like a lump and contemplate on how miserable you are and how much you deserve better things.....except that just perpetuates the negativity and doesn't actually heal you. I would sit with the aforementioned cigarettes and agonize over my life for hours into the night while sad music played and imagine crowds of people in tears over my suffering...it was as pathetic as it was dramatic and didn't help at all. It's only when I took affirmative action to get better did I actually, God forbid, feel better.

    3.) Pity party take 2 - Getting other people's sympathy due to mistakes you made can be the most attention you receive sometimes. It's gratifying knowing people care and want to make you feel better. Holding on to old wounds so you can bring them up to people as a means to gaining their sympathy is an old trick I used as well. Staring off disconsolately into the sky and regaling them of some great woe that befell you, watching them attentively drink in your words than shower you with condolences....it pumps up the ego. But having your talking points just be endless reiterations of negative, sad instances won't help you heal either....and healing is what the goal should be.

    4.) Identity - some people (to segway off my previous point) have placed their entire identity into not letting go of personal mistakes or tragedy. It makes them feel as if they have purpose simply relaying how fantastic their failure was so they have a constant audience to "educate" on how not to be a failure. I had a soccer coach in highschool who, I kid you not, told us the story of how he missed the final penalty shot in a world championship game something like 30 years ago EVERY DAY. He was so hung up on what happened he had effectively cheated himself out of being happy in soccer for the last 30 years. It was ridiculous to the point of being comical and everyone secretly laughed at him instead of empathized.

    Avoid these, and you should be well on your way to living life not weighed down by your past.

    Good luck

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    A mistake becomes a bigger one if you don't learn from it. Case in point, I remain upset with 

    so-called friends that voted for/supported tRump in 2016. If they do so again in 2020, will not 

    put water on them should I see them on fire or stop if I see them stranded along a road, etc.

  • Rick
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    One reason is we think we need to punish ourselves, so we do that by holding on to the hurt.  Another reason is this is what we think we're supposed to do.  It's what we were taught by our parents and others.  

  • 2 months ago

    You don't forget them because you learn from them.  If you forgot them, you'd very likely make the same mistake again - hence you remember.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.