Made a Mistake? Don’t Give Up, Don’t Ever Give Up
Category : justice impacted legal post-conviction re-entry
People make mistakes all the time; the human factor dictates that actions are often less than perfect. The critical part about mistakes comes after the fact; take opportunities to learn how to act differently in the future. Each mistake is a learning opportunity to create an alternative future. Realizing the mistake, learning from the process, and practicing different habits can help to prevent the same thing from recurring.
Realizing the Mistake
The first step is realizing that you’ve made a mistake, and admitting that freely. According to Rowdy G. Williams, “being convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) can lead to serious penalties that have a long-lasting effect on your life.” Not just DUI convictions, but any conviction can have long lasting effects on your life and livelihood.
Taking responsibility for the action helps to reinforce any change that will follow. Try to pick yourself up after making a mistake rather than blaming yourself repeatedly. The negative thoughts will do more harm than productivity. Similarly, avoiding responsibility and refusing to admit that a mistake happened is as non-productive. Own your actions, learn from them, and develop different habits to move past them.
Learning from the Process
Take the opportunity to learn from your mistake. Understand that in order not to be credited with another conviction, your thought process must change. Learning about the science behind the problem may help to motivate you to make changes. Think about your future and weigh the consequences of your actions before making another mistake. Enlist the help of family, friends, medical practitioners, research studies, library books, and any other sources you can find. Educating yourself about your issues can be an empowering way to begin seeking alternatives and behavior changes. The more you know, the more options are available to you.
Practicing Different Habits
Finally, invest in practicing different habits. Use tools like group meetings, a support system of friends and family, a sponsor, and involving yourself in different social circles to help you along the way. Nolef Turns, Inc. is a great resource for finding support from others dealing with convictions. Consider being a mentor/buddy for someone dealing with legal issues or for a child with an incarcerated parent. You might even delve into different self-care practices by taking time to discover which activities bring you joy. Creative outlets like writing, reading, dance, and blogging can be wonderfully productive outlets. Perhaps your outlet comes in the form of a sport, exercise, or another form of fitness. Regardless of what makes you happy, practice it regularly to supplement fostering new habits.
When you make a mistake, make every effort to pick yourself back up afterward. Admit that it happened, take responsibility, learn about alternatives, and dedicate yourself to behavior change so that the same mistake does not occur repeatedly. Above all, be patient and kind to yourself; self-change takes time.