As I look at the grade that I received, it is really easy to say, “Man I could have done better.” or, “Man I should have worked just a little bit harder!” (Both of which I could have or maybe should have done.) The problem is that I can’t go back and redo that experience in my life. It is in the past and that’s all there is to it. I need to accept the fact that I received a B. It does not make me less of a person.
I’ve been thinking about this over the past few days, as I prepare for my final. I messed up. I was not prepared and missed the first day of class. I got distracted and only did a portion of one piece of homework and received a really bad grade on it. There were nights, when I didn’t study like I should have. I made some mistakes. I could have done better. That’s the honest truth.
BUT!!! I can’t continually beat myself down.
If I am continually looking over my shoulder second-guessing myself, I can never move forward towards becoming a better person. This is not to say that looking back at all isn’t a good thing, but there needs to come a time when I move forward. On the other side I need to look back and realize what mistakes I made so I can improve myself. I can look at mistakes and see them as failures or I can see them as formational opportunities. This means that I use the past to help shape the future!
The problem is that too many people either spend all their time beating themselves up over mistakes. This results in a person becoming completely insecure and always wondering what if. The other side of the problem is some people never learn from their mistakes. This results in a person who is completely insecure, wondering why they’re always screwing up. Neither person is getting better at what they’re doing.
Personally, I want to become a better student. So here is my formation plan.
To do this, I need to look at where I made my mistakes, understand the nature of these mistakes, make a plan to move forward, and finally give myself some measurable action steps to start implementing that plan. Here’s an example:
Mistake: I didn’t double check the date of the beginning of the class.
Nature: I am not organized.
Plan: Get organized.
Action Step: Put my class schedule on Google Calendar & link it to my email.