Remember: Everyone makes mistakes

Last week, I dropped my phone into the bathtub. It was as if it happened in slow motion as I watched it become submerged under the hot water.

I put it in rice for 24 hours, hoping to salvage it. But no such luck. There went $300 down the drain.

I told my friend about what happened. Her response: "You were dumb. Really dumb."

Do you think I didn't already think that?

As someone with anxiety, I criticize myself more than anyone could ever criticize me. When I make a mistake, I beat myself up for days, calling myself stupid and a failure.

It's been like that ever since I can remember. When I was a kid and I would do something wrong, I punished myself more than my parents could even punish me.

The thing is, throughout our lives we will all make mistakes, some serious, some not so serious. And we will think back on how easy it would have been to prevent it. But what's the point in stressing out about it when you can't go back and change it?

When I went to the Sprint store to activate my new phone, I kept telling the employee how stupid I was. And she flat out told me, "Stop it! You're not stupid! It happens to everyone." And these words from this stranger helped me snap out of it.

Just because you've made mistakes in your life (and who hasn't), it doesn't make you stupid. Yeah, it may set your life off course, but it doesn't define who you are.

So, next time you make a mistake, here are some things to help you feel better:

1. Don't be afraid to laugh at yourself. Joking with other people about my mistakes always makes me feel better. I've found that, when you take yourself less seriously and admit to your own mistakes, others will be less likely to criticize you and more likely to admit, "Yeah, I've done that too."

2. Find the lesson in your mistake. Think, "Well, I won't do that again."

3. Don't waste your time worrying about things you can't change. You can't go back in time. Remind yourself that it will be okay and that this is not the end of the world.

4. If possible, think of a solution. You drunkenly tattooed your boyfriend's name on your arm? Instead of dwelling on it, go look up tattoo removal centers. You got in trouble by your boss because you slept through your alarm? Tell him or her it won't happen again and start setting multiple alarms.

5. If your mistake hurts someone else, suck it up and say you're sorry. You will feel better afterward.

6. Know you're not alone. Someone somewhere has made the same mistake you have.

And, as legendary coach John Wooden said, "If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything."

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