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3 Ways To Recover From Mistakes

Don't worry, it's probably not as bad as you think. Bounce back in no time with these tips.

We've all had our share of clumsy moments we wish we could erase. Before you feel the urge to crawl into a hole, instead work out a way to get over the embarrassment.

"Agonizing over a mistake just gets you stuck in a pointless worry spiral," says Holly Hazlett-Stevens, PhD, author of Women Who Worry Too Much. "It makes it much harder to forgive yourself and move on." Try to remember these three tips instead:

1. Look at the goof objectively.

"Ask yourself, 'What evidence do I have that this won't pass?'" suggests Hazlett-Stevens. "Research from Penn State shows that in most cases, the impact of a mistake is rarely as severe as we anticipate." If someone is holding a grudge, acknowledge her feelings and apologize: "I don't blame you for being mad. I was wrong, and I'm sorry."

2. Put your ego in check.

"Just because you're consumed with the mistake doesn't mean others are," notes Hazlett-Stevens. "The truth is that people get so wrapped up in their own lives, they don't think about us that often, period. And when they do, they see the big picture. You won't be defined by a one-time slip-up if you're an otherwise cool person."

3. Recall a past blunder you've recovered from.

"Compare how long you thought the embarrassment would last with how long it actually did," says Hazlett-Stevens. "Chances are, you got over it fairly quickly, which means your recovery from this mistake may be just as swift."