5 Reasons People Attach Themselves to Their Mistakes

Photo by Kira Schwarz from Pexels

One of the main causes of a person’s unhappiness is the inability to recover from a mistake. We have made so many choices in our lives, but not all of them are good ones. We all have our share of embarrassing, devastating, and life-changing mistakes that we could never take back. Some we regret until we die, some we learn to accept. Over time, we ponder on our decisions and wish we hadn’t done them as we cry ourselves to sleep.

Once your insecurities get the better of you, you’re going to be afraid to make shortcomings, and sooner, afraid to take risks. These regrets of the past are limiting our beliefs and capabilities turning over a new leaf, therefore, preventing us to grow. The deeper we dwell on our mistakes, the less motivated we are in embracing our flaws. And little as we know it, we’ve already lost respect for ourselves; and that is the worst mistake of all.

Many people are holding themselves back from creating a future they want because they attach their worth to their mistakes. They stop themselves from trying new things or building relationships with colleagues because of fear that past mistakes will be repeated. This level of thinking keeps us stagnant and unproductive, all because we refuse to accept the sinful and imperfect nature of humans. Furthermore, we see our mistakes differently and more harshly than others.

Why is it that we are more forgiving of other people’s mistakes than ours? Why do we add so much pressure on our shoulders to change for the better as soon as possible? But with other people, we tell them not to feel so sorry for doing something normal. Why are we so cruel in judging ourselves but so understanding with others?

As for me, I’m the type of person who doesn’t make a big deal about making a couple of mistakes here and there. I know I’m not a perfect person, so I don’t judge myself too harshly for being one. I’m well aware of my limits and where I stand in my relationships, so I learn to adjust to my boundaries and to be kinder to myself about the things I did in the past. Unlike others, I do not push people away because I let the guilt stop me from feeling deserving of kindness.

And thankfully, this mindset has helped me become more peaceful and content with myself. I don’t fear mistakes because I believe truly that there are no regrets in life, just lessons learned. I didn’t prevent myself from learning the good and bad sides of my personality, and so I maintain an open mind and heart in accepting what life may offer me.


How long you make a mistake doesn’t mean you’re too stupid or ignorant to realize it was wrong. It’s quite difficult to differentiate right from wrong when your mind is convinced you’re in the right. Your judgment gets so clouded and confused; sometimes it feels you’re not in control of your actions. When the season of pain comes, you’re most likely going to make a lot of mistakes. And that’s okay because the story is not yet over.

Once you’ve understood why it had to happen, you’re going to be happy that you’ve gone through it. Once you’ve accepted why it had to happen to you and realized in the end, how it all connected to other events in your life, you’re going to be amazed at how strong you are. Allow yourself to feel all the negative feelings so that you can freely cleanse yourself when the season of pain is over.




The primary reason people couldn’t proceed to move on from their past mistakes is that they still haven’t wrapped their heads around them. They still haven’t admitted to themselves that they have made a mistake. They haven’t forgiven themselves for their shortcomings, and this is what’s holding them back from having peace. They haven’t accepted the outcome of their choices, so their pride is forcing them to simply associate themselves with the mistake they made.

In their defense, how can they take accountability for their mistakes, if they do not believe truly, that they have made a mistake? This is where the importance of self-awareness takes place. We must know ourselves truthfully, especially if we are in a position where we have to address problems, respond to triggers, and behave despite the influx of different emotions that may come.


Most of the time, the one factor that’s hindering your progress from moving forward from your mistakes is your environment. From the physical location of your home or workplace to the people you’re usually with—all of these can provoke that scar of insecurity engraved in your soul. Sometimes, when trauma is too intense, people will not forget it but that doesn’t mean you can’t recover or heal from it. There will come a point in your life when you need to revamp your environment to change your situation for the better.

If moving to another hometown is what it takes to protect your energy and peace, then that’s what you should do. If the people surrounding you make it very difficult to forgive yourself, then what’s the point of staying there? When you cut off people who not only hamper your progress but make sure you never get success, life becomes simpler and clearer. The sad reality is some people are insensitive enough to bring up a topic they know you don’t want to talk about.

They talk about your trauma like it’s a high school gossip to be passed around, completely ignoring how it would affect you. It’s going to be hard to learn to love yourself back when your environment tells you you’re unlovable or unworthy. Among the five reasons listed here, this reason is the most adjustable; therefore, there’s more that you can do.


People can’t move on from their past because they think too highly of themselves, more or less, in the standard of perfection. When they catch themselves in a pitiful situation, their confidence gets shattered by the bad choices that put them there. It comes as a shock to them when they realize they aren’t as perfect as they thought, and this is what breaks them. If you’re one of the people who view themselves this way, you probably still find yourself affected by your mistakes because you don’t want to move on.

Your perfectionist self says you’ve already tainted your record so there’s no point in making good choices anymore. You live in despair for the mistakes of the past, and you think your life is over when it’s not.
When you find yourself consumed by a mistake you’ve done in the past, it’s important to ponder if your mistakes are worth ruining your mood, your day, or your lifelong plan to chase your goals. Perhaps the gravity of the situation is in your head and you’re the one exaggerating it.

Maybe no one is thinking about your mistake as much as you do—because you’re so afraid someone might point them out to you. You fear the imminent possibility that one day you will be remembered as someone who made that one single mistake. The tendency of caring about other people’s opinions of you, especially their judgment of your faults, is you intentionally lock yourself in a cage where people can watch and mock you; when you can just as easily leave.


Another reason people attach themselves to their mistakes is they could not escape the long-term effects of their choices. No matter how they try to separate themselves from what they’ve done, sometimes, it is impossible. In reality, some mistakes are too grave that you will spend the rest of your life, including your kids and grandkids to suffer the consequences of your actions. These people still attach themselves to their wrongdoings because they see it in the struggling faces of their family members and friends. They hate to witness the people they love get hurt by a mistake that has nothing to do with them but are, unfortunately, affected for the rest of their lives.

They can’t handle the guilt and shame of letting their loved ones be a part of this cycle of torment. This is why they are punishing the present version of themselves, even if it starts being unfair to them. It’s hard to see people go through with this. We should all be kind and empathetic to the things they go through that we do not see. Let’s help them in any way that we can and remember not to cross any boundaries.


The unpredictability of our mistakes can be a numbing and paralyzing experience. When facing the consequences of our wrong choices, you may feel alone and isolated. Most times, we feel hopeless in the journey of moving on from our mistakes because we convince ourselves that our mistakes will always be a part of us. We unconsciously believe the bad decisions we make are always going to stain our clean record, ruin a perfectly good day, or discredit any progress we made.

In our minds, we want to move forward and get on with our lives but we don’t know how to escape from our misery. We don’t know to whom to ask for an apology or what we should apologize about. We don’t know how to keep moving forward while being pulled back by something we can no longer change.
Our fear of making the same mistakes twice is the reason we’d rather attach ourselves to what we’ve done than hold ourselves accountable. We find ourselves unworthy of being responsible because the damage has been done. But, this is the wrong way to perceive all of this.

Yes, you can’t undo what you’ve already done, so why keep attaching yourself to one point in your life that has already passed? Why do you keep forcing yourself to feel hurt about something that you’ve cried over a million times? As they say, don’t let the bad days of yesterday destroy the chance of a good day.


Mistakes happen when we’re too curious, stubborn, or ignorant about something. This goes from disobeying simple orders to trusting someone you’ve only met once to deciding based on momentary emotions. Our mistakes do define us in some ways but not in totality. They define our weaknesses, fears, triggers, and even our deepest, regrettable desires at the time of doing the mistake. Our mistakes are the consequences or effects of the bad choices we make and poor judgment, but they never predict what the next stages of our life look like.

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes because that’s the only way you learn. No person became who they are without growing from their shortcomings. If you have to choose which is the wiser individual between a ‘seemingly’ perfect person and a person who has made several mistakes in their life, choose the latter. Surround yourself with people who have achieved remarkable goals from their mistakes, for you will learn more about yourself than you will ever do with those who are scared to make a mistake.

“There is no sense in punishing your future for the mistakes of the past. Forgive yourself, grow from it, and then let it go.”

Melanie Koulouris 

Published by Monique Renegado

Monique started Life Begins At Twenty as a 20-year-old college student from the Philippines. In her lifestyle and wellness blog, she shares first-hand experiences and soulful advice about student life, relationships, mental health, adulting, and self-growth. Monique is passionate about literature, music, public speaking, and family. Besides studying and blogging full-time, she strives hard to become a published author with her first YA fiction novel and poems. Monique is the older sister you wish you had to help you navigate your twenties successfully. If you want a constant drive for motivation and pep talks, be a part of her journey.

2 thoughts on “5 Reasons People Attach Themselves to Their Mistakes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: