Letting Go of Mistakes: Reduce Anxiety By Reviewing Your Day Differently

We all make mistakes – but how do you move past them? Here’s how to use nonverbal communication strategies to review a bad day and reduce anxiety.

In this short video, Michael Grinder, the pioneer of nonverbal communication, demonstrates how speakers can let go of mistakes using strategies from his book “Charisma – The Art of Relationships.”

Here’s how to let go of mistakes and review your day

1. Review your day in the third person

2. Laugh about your mistakes

3. Program (plan) in the first person

4. Remember to review your day like a cat!

Michael Grinder here.

You know, all of us would love to live in a perfect society where we never make mistakes. How do you let go of mistakes? How do you review your day in such a way so that you reduce your anxiety?

Now, if it’s a really good day, certainly enjoy it! Think about the interactions, the success, the accomplishments you’ve had.

It’s when we’ve not had a good day — that’s when we have to figure out how to review it.

So if I may, when you are absolutely doing well, be inside your body and enjoy recalling what happened.

But on a bad day, don’t stay inside your body. If you do, you’re going to feel guilty, you’re going to look towards the past. You’re going to say, “Boy, I wish I hadn’t done that.”

That’s not going to motivate you.

So you’ve got to figure out how to review the past differently.

Here’s what I recommend.

Instead of saying, “I really blew it today,” say either your name, your title or your gender. So, “He really blew it today. She really blew it today. The supervisor really blew it today.”

View what they did, not you, what they did.

Look at it, study it, and then you have to do something that’s really quite difficult. You’ll probably have to do it artificially.

You have to laugh. As much as you can. Even if it’s artificial, laughing changes the chemicals in your body.

And then say this, “I would never do that; what I plan to do is…”

So the secret on how you let go of mistakes and reduce the anxiety when you’re reviewing your day is to review in third person: he, she, title.

Program (plan) the future in first person, “what I plan to do.”

So if you want, take a little post-it, put it on your steering wheel. Review in third person, program (plan) in first.

You know who taught me this? I live out in the country. I have a dog and I have a cat. My cat, Fitz, slides across the linoleum floor in the kitchen and slams against the refrigerator, but immediately sits down and starts licking his paw, indicating “I meant to do that.” He just goes on with life.

Whereas my dog goes out to the blackberry patch, gets a thorn in his paw, and runs “ow, ow, ow!” to the back door and looks at me as if to say, “I don’t know what I did wrong, but I’m sure I was at fault, would you help me?”

Please review your day like a cat, and plan your future in first person.

Michael Grinder here. Come on, let go of those mistakes, reduce your anxiety, and actually prepare for the next day. Thank you.

Want to learn more about how you can use nonverbal strategies to increase your charisma? Check out the Charisma e-book.

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