The importance of embracing failure cannot be overstated. Learning from one’s own mistakes is important in learning the path of recovery after addiction. Regaining credibility following a misstep or mistake can feel difficult, if not impossible (depending on the infraction). Saving face can be an important lesson in how to come back from adversity. Learn more about how to do this in a positive, empowering way.
A person who is willing and able to admit mistakes and failures is more likely to find success in recovery. When a mistake is made in good faith or as a one-time error judgment it is possible to turn it around and make the mistake better. People generally want to trust others and are willing to accept mistakes happen if the following steps are followed:
Step One: Own It
Placing blame on others or dodging responsibility will only make matters worse. Admit to the mistake and face up to consequences for best results. Express regret at any harm done and make effort to move on and change behavior going forward.
Step Two: Apologize
If pain or suffering was caused to others around the individual, it is best to offer a sincere apology rather than a fake one. A mea culpa will put responsibility for transgression on other people (“sorry if you were offended”) whereas a specific acknowledgement of the incident will show others humility and sincerity. People want to know the problem is understood and will not happen again.
Step Three: Look for (and communicate) improvements
Once mistakes are owned up to and apologies are made, try to figure out how it happened and how such errors may be avoided. Consult the individuals affected by the mistake and search for ways to improve the issue at hand. Let other people know about the solutions put in place to avoid the problem happening again to see the situation has been dealt with effectively with room for improvement and growth.
Step Four: Stop the self-flagellation
Mistakes and missteps can be embarrassing. It is easy to get mired in beating up on oneself. It is time to move on and focus on the future. Apologizing excessively or repeatedly can be a sign of weakness and may actually hurt a person’s credibility.
Step Five: learn from it
Mistakes have a way of feeling less overwhelming when a person puts distance between the mistake and the person who made it. Depending on the type and severity of the mistake, it may be able to happen that the experience helps others. Facing what a person has done is really important and positive growth can come from the experience.
Individuals with addiction go through a recovery process which is lifelong. There will be ups and downs but as long as the individual uses these steps as a guide to making amends and moving forward, things will continue to get better each and every day.
Sobriety is not a clear path. It is filled with ups and downs but if you are having trouble staying clean or sober, there is help. Let us help you find hope in recovery from addiction with our individualized approach. The Villa is here to help you find healing.