Most of us want to know in advance every detail of our future course. Whether considering a new job, new friendship, new computer program, or simply ordering something new from the menu, we often think we need an exact accounting of the results before we begin. Since this is impossible, we tend to avoid trying the new thing. This tendency to avoid a fresh start is even more detrimental when we have made a mistake and get bogged down over what went wrong. Here is a new way to think about it:
Simply beginning again is the wisest course. To start over, we must be willing to take ourselves as we are, to work with what we have, and to do so in the present. Mistakes need only to be corrected.
Self-forgiveness follows when we accept that mistakes are actually invaluable for our growth and learning–rather than terrible errors that only prove how flawed we are. When we can benefit from our mistakes in this way, we feel encouraged to begin anew or to try again, rather than getting hung up on the fear of not being able to attain some impossible ideal of perfection.